Health Disparities And Racism

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Health Disparities & Racism Racism is defined as the poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race and the belief that one race is superior to the other (Merriam-Webster 2015). Many people do not see racism as a factor in our mental and physical health, but it is. Throughout the United States there have been several studies done to see how racism and discrimination can cause health problems and therefore health disparities in our society. A health disparity is defined as difference in morbidity, mortality, and access to healthcare (Dressler, Oths & Gravlee, 2005). All of these studies have one thing in common, that it is very clear that racism takes a toll on individuals’ health and is a major cause of health disparities …show more content…

Low birth weight and hypertension/chronic high blood pressure play a huge role in health disparities. Black women have around 6% more low birth weights than white women and black individuals have almost 15% higher blood pressure than white individuals (Dressler, Oths, Gravlee, 2005). These two health indicators can be results from experiencing chronic stress, which may result from segregation, etc. All of these models show that ethnicity and race are very important variables to health disparities and need to be closely examined and …show more content…

al., 2005). It was brought into light that racial bias is inversely associated with the mental health status. The study showed that more than half of the people surveyed had experienced racial discrimination, which in turn caused them to experience psychological distress (Jackson et. al., 2005). It also talked about how discrimination is associated with negative physical health outcomes such as hypertension like discussed earlier in the paper. In this study two measures of racism were used, perceptions of whites’ intentions and racial discriminations experienced by the participants. The results were that the first measure correlated with health issues in the participants but not mental health status, while the second measure did correlate with mental health status. People who reported that white’ intentions were to keep black people down reported more health issues and people who reported being mistreated because of their race reported lower levels of life satisfaction (Jackson et. al., 2005). Although there was a positive relationship between racism and psychological distress, these findings were insignificant. Even though these numbers were insignificant, it shows proof that discrimination has a way of affecting individual’s physical and

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