Breast Cancer Risk Higher Among Black Women Who Experienced Racial Discrimination

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Black women who feel they have been racially discriminated against aremore likely than other black women to develop breast cancer, accordingto a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Reuters/New York Post reports (Reuters/New York Post, 7/6).

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For the report, lead researcher Teletia Taylor of Howard Universityand colleagues tracked 59,000 black women over a period of six years.The participants were asked whether they experienced "everyday"discrimination, such as receiving inferior customer service or feelingthat others are "afraid" of them or act superior to them. Participantsalso were asked whether they felt "major" discrimination, such as inthe workplace, in dealing with the police or trying to obtain housing.

Researchersfound that participants who said they routinely experienced dailydiscrimination had a higher risk of developing breast cancer than thosewho did not. Those who were reported major discrimination also weremore likely to develop the disease. The connection between perceiveddiscrimination and breast cancer was stronger among women younger thanage 50, according to the study. Previous studies have indicated thatperceived racial discrimination can affect individuals' health, likelybecause of added stress, which has been linked to poorer health, Reuters Health reports. Researchers suggested that further research is needed to determine the correlation between racism and breast cancer (Reuters Health, 7/5).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser WeeklyHealth Disparities Report,search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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