Volunteer work cuts risk of hypertension in older adults

Volunteer work cuts risk of hypertension in older adults
Older adults who volunteer at least 200 hours over a one-year period and have normal blood pressure are less likely than non-volunteers to develop hypertension four years later, according to research published in the June issue of Psychology & Aging.

(HealthDay)—Older adults who volunteer at least 200 hours over a one-year period and have normal blood pressure are less likely than non-volunteers to develop hypertension four years later, according to research published in the June issue of Psychology & Aging.

Rodlescia S. Sneed and Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, reviewed data from the 2006 and 2010 waves of the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal panel survey involving community-dwelling adults older than 50 years. Volunteerism habits and blood pressure were recorded at baseline and four years later.

The researchers found that, after excluding individuals with hypertension at baseline and adjusting for age, race, sex, educational level, baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and major chronic illnesses, older adults who had spent at least 200 hours doing volunteer work during the 12 months prior to baseline were significantly less likely to develop hypertension four years later compared to those who did not do volunteer work (odds ratio, 0.60). No association between volunteer work and risk of hypertension was observed for lesser time commitments. Larger increases in psychological well-being and physical activity also were significantly linked to at least 200 hours of volunteer participation in a year, but these factors did not explain the lower risk of developing hypertension.

"Those who volunteer 200 hours or more per year (roughly four hours per week) were 40 percent less likely to develop over a four-year follow-up of a sample of community-dwelling ," the authors write.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Community-based study IDs prevalence of HTN in children

Jan 28, 2013

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of prehypertension and hypertension is lower than previously reported in school-based cohorts, according to a large community-based study published online Jan. 28 in Pediatrics.

Prevalence of self-reported hypertension rises in US

Apr 05, 2013

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of self-reported hypertension among U.S. adults increased slightly, but significantly from 2005 to 2009, and the proportion of adults using anti-hypertensive medications also ...

Annual BP checks may improve hypertension identification

Mar 21, 2013

(HealthDay)—For previously normotensive adults, an annual office-based hypertension screening strategy is associated with improved specificity while maintaining sensitivity, according to a study published ...

Recommended for you

Health law enrollment now 7.3M

10 hours ago

The Obama administration says 7.3 million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the health care law—down from 8 million reported earlier this year.

ASTRO issues second list of 'Choosing wisely' guidelines

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has released a second list of five radiation oncology-specific treatments that should be discussed before being prescribed, as part of the ...

Bill Gates says progress made on new super-thin condom

11 hours ago

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday progress is being made on developing a "next-generation" ultra-thin, skin-like condom that could offer better sexual pleasure, help population control and ...

User comments