By mid-life, many African Americans suffer the ill-treatment that leads to chronic and even fatal diseases.
"Constant discrimination affect the health of the most insidious ways," - says D. Anthony Ong, assistant professor of human ecology at Cornell College.
A study examining the data of middle-aged African-Americans in Milwaukee, trying to shed light on the biological basis of constant exposure to unfair treatment. In the study, they considered unacceptable behavior cumulative effects of 22 biomarkers.
Biomarkers pointing to disease risk have been found in laboratory samples (blood, urine, saliva) and for medical examinations 233 blacks. Also, the subjects answered a series of questions about life experiences. The researchers analyzed the "interpersonal unfair treatment in everyday life." Participants were asked questions about how often they have been treated rudely, poorly served in restaurants or stores, insulted, threatened or harassed.
The majority (81.1 percent) of African Americans said that at least one of these events has been associated with skin color.
Studies support the theory that when people are constantly faced with abuse, it causes a number of psychological reactions that over time demand from the body to respond effectively to the challenges.
The researchers differentiated constant abusive behavior from everyday stress (problems at work, rental of property, etc.). That discrimination is correlated with health indicator called allostatic load (the amount of seven physiological parameters of risk systems: cardiovascular system, lipid, glucose, inflammation of the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). In people with severe Allostatic load higher risk of diseases.
Continuing further study of this issue, experts say the study points to the impact of everyday discrimination in the lives of African Americans, illustrating how the social conditions associated with health and disease.