Scientists Start to Tease Out the Ways Racism Hurts Health


FromĀ NPR: Scientists are beginning to understand the subtle ways that experiences of racism and discrimination affect people’s health on both a physiological and psychological level.

“…research suggests bad things happen when your body has toĀ gear up for threats too often, consistently washing itself in stress hormones.

‘Prolonged elevation [and] circulation of the stress hormones in our bodies can be very toxic and compromise our body’s ability to regulate key biological systems like our cardiovascular system, our inflammatory system, our neuroendocrine system,’ Nuru-Jeter says. ‘It just gets us really out of whack and leaves us susceptible to a bunch of poor health outcomes.’

A number of small studies haveĀ documentedĀ similar stress reactions in response to racism, and even in response toĀ the mereĀ expectationĀ of a racist encounter.”

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