A prospective study of volunteerism and hypertension risk in older adults.

TitleA prospective study of volunteerism and hypertension risk in older adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSneed, RS, Cohen, S
JournalPsychol Aging
Date Published2013 Jun
ISSN Number1939-1498
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Time Factors, Volunteers

The purpose of the current study was to determine whether volunteerism is prospectively associated with hypertension risk among older adults. Participants provided data during the 2006 and 2010 waves of the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal panel survey using a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling older adults (age > 50 years). Volunteerism and blood pressure were measured at baseline and again 4 years later. Analyses excluded individuals hypertensive at baseline and controlled for age, race, sex, education, baseline systolic/diastolic blood pressure, and major chronic illnesses. Those who had volunteered at least 200 hr in the 12 months prior to baseline were less likely to develop hypertension (OR = 0.60; 95% CI [0.40, 0.90]) than nonvolunteers. There was no association between volunteerism and hypertension risk at lower levels of volunteer participation. Volunteering at least 200 hr was also associated with greater increases in psychological well-being (B = 0.99, β = .05, p = .006) and physical activity (B = 0.21, β = .05, p = .04) compared with nonvolunteers; however, these factors did not explain the association of volunteerism with hypertension risk.


Copyright - Copyright American Psychological Association Jun 2013 Last updated - 2013-06-30

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Endnote Keywords

Psychology/Hypertension/Older people/Volunteers/Mental health/psychological well-being

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalPsychol Aging
Citation Key7833
PubMed ID23795768
PubMed Central IDPMC3804225
Grant ListR01 AT006694 / AT / NCCIH NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
AT006694 / AT / NCCIH NIH HHS / United States
U01AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States