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article imageStudy: Volunteering seen to benefit cardiovascular health

By Michael Krebs     Mar 10, 2013 in Science
A recent study of teen-aged subjects published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that the action of volunteering and of altruism can improve cardiovascular health.
Researchers directed by Dr. Hannah Schreier of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and operating in Vancouver Canada have come to the suggestion that volunteering in the community has measurable positive effects for the cardiovascular health of the volunteers.
The findings from the study may answer the question on the impact of altruism and positive emotions on heart health.
“These findings are significant because they indicate that youth who engage in volunteering not only help others, but also benefit themselves, suggesting a novel way to improve health while simultaneously making positive contributions to society,” Schreier said, as Healio reported.
The researchers reported that key markers associated with cardiovascular health, inclusive of cholesterol markers, were aligned positively for the volunteers versus those adolescents studied in the control group. The subjects were asked to volunteer at an elementary school for a period of 10 weeks, where they worked with middle school children.
But pushing altruism aside, could the findings point to an increase in general mobility in comparison with the control group?
"Can we say that this wasn't just because they spend extra hour a week running after young kids," Lindsay Abrams of The Atlantic asked in her report on the findings. "Not entirely. But researchers also looked at the students' changes in mood, self-esteem, and sense of altruism."
There are clearly understood negative markers for psychosocial stress on general cardiovascular health, the idea of positive thinking and altruism as a healing agent for optimal cardiology has not been demonstrated before.
More about Cardiology, Cardiovascular disease, Altruism, Science, Health
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