It is not surprising that communities that suffer discrimination are at a disadvantage in many aspects or their lives, including health.
New research published in Science Daily and conducted at the University of California – Berkeley by J. B. Leitner, E. Hehman, O. Ayduk, R. Mendoza-Denton. (Blacks Death Rate Due to Circulatory Diseases Is Positively Related to Whites Explicit Racial Bias: A Nationwide Investigation Using Project Implicit. Psychological Science, 2016; DOI: 10.1177/0956797616658450) has shown that not only the group discriminated but also the one doing the discrimination were both more at risk of negative effects on their cardiovascular health.
The Report says “Living in unabashedly racist communities can shorten the lives of both blacks and whites, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
“Researchers compared the racial biases of nearly 1.4 million people nationwide to death rates in more than 1,700 U.S. counties. Their findings suggest that blacks and, to a lesser degree, whites who reside in overtly racist communities are more prone to dying from heart disease and other circulatory diseases.
“This suggests that living in a racially hostile environment might be detrimental to both the group targeted by this bias, in this case blacks, as well as the group that harbors the bias, in this case whites,” said study lead author Jordan Leitner, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at UC Berkeley. The findings were just published in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science.
“Researchers also found a racial gap in perceived access to affordable health care. The study found that blacks living in more bigoted communities reported having less access to affordable health care. Meanwhile, whites reported relatively high access to affordable health care, regardless of the racial bias of their community.
“The study controlled for age, education, income, population, rural versus urban and other factors that might influence health.
“While previous studies have connected perceived discrimination to negative health outcomes, this is the first to take large data sets, which were not previously available, and measure relationships between whites’ racial bias and the health of whites and blacks in their community, Leitner said.”
These findings remind us of the somehow similar ones from epidemiologists Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, authors of “The Spirit level” in which, after comparing indices of health and social development in 23 of the world’s richest nations they concluded that inequality is bad for the health of both rich and poor, and that more equal societies improved the health of both groups. The very rich were, however, excluded from the study.