Scientists have long known that experiencing racism is bad for your health. In fact,racial discrimination has been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and the common cold among other health issues. But can it help account for the fact that African-American men have a life expectancy nearly five years shorter than their white counterparts?
Maybe so, as a new study suggests that racial discrimination actually accelerates aging at the cellular level.
“Our findings suggest that racism literally makes people old,” lead investigator Dr. David H. Chae, an epidemiology professor at the University of Maryland’s school of public health, said in a written statement.
In the study, 92 African-American men between 30 and 50 years of age answered questions about facing discrimination, such as at work, in stores, or from police. The men also completed a so-called implicit association test that measured their attitudes toward different racial groups.
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