Racial discrimination linked to higher risk of chronic illness in African American women


Less-educated African American women who report experiencing high levels of racial discrimination may face greater risk of developing chronic diseases, says a new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

Experiencing racial discrimination increases physiological stress.

The study of 208 middle-aged African American women from the San Francisco Bay Area is the first to examine the links between racial discrimination and allostatic load, a measure of chronic physiologic stress in the body that is a predictor of a variety of chronic diseases. Higher levels of educational attainment may buffer some of the negative health effects of discrimination, the team found.

“Racial discrimination has many faces. It is not being able to hail a cab, getting poor service in…

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