Volunteering is linked to heart health
In the United States, Hispanics/Latinos are at greater risk from heart disease (also called cardiovascular disease) than non-Hispanic whites. It is important to identify culturally-appropriate factors that may promote heart health in Hispanics/Latinos. One key social factor is volunteering. For example, people who participate in activities that benefit an individual, the community, and society tend to have better health. Previous studies of the general public have shown that volunteering is linked to better healthcare use among older adults, lower risk of heart disease in women, less depression, and lower inflammation. In a new study, researchers looked at links between volunteering and heart disease among Hispanics/Latinos.
Being a volunteer is good medicine for Hispanic/Latino adults
In this study of almost 5,000 Hispanic/Latinos with an average age of 42 years, 14.5% were volunteers. Compared to non-volunteers, volunteers had much lower risk for heart disease, especially those who had lived in the U.S. more than 10 years. Volunteers were also more likely to be of Mexican background, have received more formal education, and have higher household income. In addition, people who volunteered often had better diets, less depression, and lower anxiety levels compared to those who did not volunteer. The links between volunteering and disease risk in Hispanic/Latino adults are important for public health promotion and prevention.
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