Study: Discrimination Linked to Poor Health

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A newly-released study has found a link between discrimination and poor health, USA Today reports.

The study, conducted by the American Psychological Association, found that nearly 70 percent of adults say they experienced discrimination. Sixty-one percent say they have experienced it on a day-to-day basis in the form of poor service, threats, lack of courtesy or respect.

More than 75 percent of Black people surveyed said they experience day-to-day discrimination and about 40 percent of Black men said they have been treated unfairly by police.

“It’s clear that discrimination is widespread and impacts many people,” said Jaime Diaz-Granados, the APA’s executive director for education. “When people frequently experience unfair treatment, it can contribute to increased stress and poorer health.”

Almost one-third of Black and Hispanic adults said they are hyper-vigilant about their appearance in order to be treated well, get good service or avoid harassment. The organization said this hyper-vigilance may be leading to added stress.

A study by University of Arizona doctoral candidate Kathryn Freeman Anderson published in 2012 in Sociological Inquiry found that 18.2% of Black Americans experienced emotional stress and 9.8% experienced physical stress, compared to 3.5% and 1.6% of whites respectively.