- Bridget Goosby, Jacob E. Cheadle, and Colter M. Mitchell
- October 2020
- Link to Focus-36-3d (PDF)
- Link to Focus-Plus-36-3 (PDF)
This article looks at the effects of interpersonal racism on health.
- The brain processes interpersonal racism as social pain in the same regions associated with the emotional components of physical pain.
- Exposure to perceived discrimination triggers a stress response; when this exposure is chronic, the stress response creates wear and tear on the body, increasing the risk of adverse health outcomes.
- In part because of discrimination, African Americans are at increased risk of adverse health outcomes, including low birth weight, hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
- Health inequities begin even before birth and build over a lifetime.
- This disproportionate risk of adverse health outcomes helps explain the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on African Americans.