A new study led by researchers at the University of Georgia finds that racial discrimination takes a biological toll on the body of many of those individuals subjected to it. The study found that African American youth who experience frequent incidents of discrimination are more likely than others to develop heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke. The greater risk of these diseases was found to arise from more than socioeconomic class disadvantages.
“Exposure to racial discrimination during childhood and adolescence will have negative effects on the functioning of biological stress regulatory systems and, ultimately, on health,” said Gene Brody, lead author of the study and director of the University of Georgia Center for Family Research.
This study was funded by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Aging.