Study Shows Racial Discrimination May Explain Health Disparities

Racial health disparities in such conditions as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other age-associated diseases may be a consequence of psychological stress resulting from racial discrimination, Science Daily reported on September 14, 2011. The study, published online in Springer’s International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, involved analyses of data from the epidemiologic study Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span (HANDLS), conducted by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health.

According to Science Daily, the psychological stress of racial discrimination is thought to be one of the factors that explain racial health disparities, for conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular problems, poor self-reported health and premature disease-related disability. With some evidence that psychological stress increases oxidative stress, researchers measured oxidative stress by “determining the level of degradation products in red blood cells and assessed racial discrimination by asking participants how much prejudice, or discrimination, they had experienced because of their race.”

Not only did blacks report more racial discrimination than whites and more oxidative stress originating from their red blood cells as measured by a novel marker, but blacks who reported suffering from racial discrimination had higher levels of oxidative stress than those who had not experienced prejudice. Levels of oxidative stress in whites were not linked to discrimination, according to Science Daily.

If you are suffering from discrimination at work, it could be affecting your health more than you realize. You do have options for legal recourse if you were a victim of employment discrimination. Our Los Angeles employment lawyers can answer all of your questions about how to prove discrimination and help you determine which administrative agency to file a complaint with or whether to file a private lawsuit

Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorney

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