A new study by researchers at the University of Maryland and the National Center for Health Research finds that while foreign-born Blacks tend to have better overall health than African Americans born in the United States, the advantage tends to shrink the longer foreign-born Blacks live in this country.
Gniesha Dinwiddie, an assistant professor of African American studies at the University of Maryland and a co-author of the study, believes the advantage dissipates due to increased exposure to stress which makes individuals more susceptible to disease. This stress can be related to racial discrimination, incidents of racism, or micro-aggressions.
“We hope that the results of our study can be used to create policy that reduces exposure to the social risk factors that condition acute and chronic stressors in which Blacks are continuously over exposed to,” Dr. Dinwiddie said. “Moreover, developing appropriate interventions tailored to specific needs of a diverse Black population are tantamount for eliminating health disparities and improving population health.”
Dr. Dinwiddie is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine. She holds a master’s degree in African American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
The study, “Allostatic Load in Foreign-Born and US-Born Blacks: Evidence From the 2001–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” was published in the American Journal of Public Health. It may be accessed here.