Roughly one in 10 children in the United States suffers from asthma. But higher asthma rates occur among African American children.
Previous studies have shown that asthma can be exacerbated by psychological stress. Now a new study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco find that exposure to racial discrimination can impact the incidence of asthma among African American children. The study found that Black children who reported experiencing some type of racial discrimination were 78 percent more likely to have asthma than their peers who said they had not been discriminated against. The study also found that Black children who faced more blatant racial discrimination were even more likely to suffer from asthma.
Neeta Thakur, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and lead author of the study, said that “discrimination is a real and everyday experience for many Americans, especially for those from minority communities. In this study, we demonstrate how this seemingly unrelated stressor is directly related to asthma and its associated outcomes in African-Americans.”
The study, “Perceived Discrimination Associated With Asthma and Related Outcomes in Minority Youth” was published in the April issue of the journal Chest. It may be accessed here.