Study shows new weapon against hypertension: Helping others

This study showed volunteering may help fight high blood pressure.

Affecting one-third of adults across America, hypertension – or high blood pressure – is a serious medical concern due to its connection to heart disease, diabetes and stroke. In past posts, we've talked about a few healthy habits that men and women in Houston should embrace to keep their blood pressure under control, such as cutting down on sodium and saturated fats. Now, a new study has unveiled another way to reduce your risk of this all too common condition and its potential complications.

According to reports, the simple act of helping others through volunteer work could impact whether or not an individual suffers from hypertension later in life. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) determined this by recruiting a group of 1,164 older Americans between 51 and 91 years old. A CMU press release states that participants were interviewed about their lifestyles – including how much they volunteered – once in 2006 and again in 2010. In that time, the scientists found that people who devoted more time to helping others through volunteerism were less likely to have developed high blood pressure between the two sessions.

"Everyday, we are learning more about how negative lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise increase hypertension risk," said lead researcher Rodlescia Sneed, PhD. "The results give older adults an example of something that they can actively do to remain healthy and age successfully."

Researchers have posited that the social aspect of volunteer work could have something to do with this demonstrated benefit – particularly for older Americans who are relatively isolated.

"There is strong evidence that having good social connections promotes healthy aging and reduces risk for a number of negative health outcomes," Sneed explained.

For further guidance about the lifestyle habits that can help you age gracefully, contact Longevity Centres of America in Houston today. We can help you look and feel your best through diet, exercise and rejuvenating treatments like hormone pellet implants and infusion therapy.