Volunteerism and Cardiovascular Health: The HCHS/SOL Sociocultural Ancillary Study

Health Behav Policy Rev. 2020 Mar;7(2):120-135. doi: 10.14485/HBPR.7.2.5.


Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine the association between volunteerism and favorable cardiovascular health (CVH) among Hispanics/Latinos living in the US.

Methods: Data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (2008-2011) Sociocultural Ancillary Study were used (N = 4,926; ages 18-74 years). Favorable CVH was defined as positive profiles of all major CVD risk factors: low total serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and body mass index; not having diabetes; and not smoking. Survey-weighted logistic regression models were adjusted for sociodemographic, lifestyle, and psychological factors. In secondary analyses, we tested whether the volunteerism-CVH association was modified by sex, age, or years lived in the US (<10 vs. ≥10 years; a proxy acculturation measure).

Results: Prevalence of volunteerism was 14.5%. Compared to non-volunteers, volunteers had 1.67 higher odds of favorable CVH in the fully-adjusted model (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1.67, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 1.11, 2.52). There was evidence of effect modification by acculturation; only volunteers who had lived in the US ≥10 years had 2.41 higher odds of favorable CVH (OR = 2.41, 95% CI=1.53, 3.80). There was no evidence of effect modification by sex or age.

Conclusions: Volunteerism was associated with favorable CVH among US Hispanics/Latinos.

Keywords: Hispanics/Latinos; civic engagement; favorable cardiovascular health; volunteerism.