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View Diary: "Socialist Health Care" is Better Says Study by National Research Council (131 comments)

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  •  I would add (4+ / 0-)

    that it's quite likely high stress levels among some groups and racial bias towards people in those groups may also have an impact on health:

    The consequences of psychological stress, resulting from racial discrimination, may contribute to racial health disparities in conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other age-associated diseases. This is according to analyses of data from the epidemiologic study Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span (HANDLS), conducted by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health.

    Dr. Sarah Szanton from Johns Hopkins University, who collaborated with scientists from the NIA and University of California, San Francisco, in the US, put forward a new hypothesis to elucidate racial differences in disease prevalence: African-Americans who suffer psychologically from racial discrimination have higher levels of oxidative stress* in their bodies. Their study is published online in Springer's International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

    The psychological stress of racial discrimination is thought to be one of the factors that explain racial health disparities, for conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular problems, poor self-reported health and premature disease-related disability. There is some evidence that psychological stress increases oxidative stress.

    I'd like to say we should ignore racial disparities and focus strictly on socioeconomic factors, but I believe there is enough evidence to suggest racism does play a role in health outcomes outside merely economic factors such as income levels, etc.

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:40:58 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  And to be honest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have not read the entire report which is hundreds of pages long, only the summaries of it.  I do not know the methodology employed by the researchers.  However, considering the study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and authoring organizations included Committee on Population, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education  and the Institute of Medicine, I'm willing to trust they did a thorough analysis.

      You can read the entire report online here:

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:50:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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