Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center (SEC) at Boston University, African-American women who reported more frequent experiences of racism had a greater likelihood of adult-onset asthma compared to women who reported less frequent experiences.
The study, which currently appears on-line in the journal Chest, was led by Patricia Coogan, DSc, senior epidemiologist at SEC and research professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health.
This study followed 38,142 African-American women, all of whom are participants in the Black Women's Health Study (BWHS), between 1997 and 2011. They completed health questionnaires every two years. In 1997 and 2009 they provided information on their experiences of "everyday" racism, like poor service in stores or restaurants, and "lifetime" racism, which was discrimination encountered on the job, in housing and by police.
The results indicate that as experiences of everyday and lifetime racism increased, the incidence of adult-onset asthma also rose, up to a 45 percent increase in women in the highest compared to the lowest category of the racism measures. Furthermore, the incidence of asthma was increased even more in women who were in the highest category of everyday racism in both 1997 and 2009, and who may have had more consistent experiences of racism over time.
"This is the first prospective study to show an association between experiences of racism and adult-onset asthma," said Coogan. "Racism is a significant stressor in the lives of African American women, and our results contribute to a growing body of evidence indicating that experiences of racism can have adverse effects on health." The hypothesized mechanism linking experiences of racism to asthma incidence is stress and its physiological consequences, particularly effects on the immune system and the airways. "Given the high prevalence of both asthma and of experiences of racism in African Americans, the association is of public health importance," she added.
BWHS is the largest follow-up study of the health of African American women in the United States. Led by researchers at the Slone Epidemiology Center, the BWHS has followed 59,000 African-American women through biennial questionnaires since 1995 and has led to a better understanding of numerous health conditions that disproportionately affect African-American women.
Experiences of Racism and the Incidence of Adult-Onset Asthma in the Black Women’s Health Study, Chest. 2013. doi:10.1378/chest.13-0665
Boston University Medical Center Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (grant award #HL107314) and the National Cancer Institute (grant award #CA058420).
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Respiratory / Asthma category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Boston University Medical Center. "African-American women who experience racism at increased risk for adult-onset asthma." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 19 Aug. 2013. Web.
19 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/264948>
Boston University Medical Center. (2013, August 19). "African-American women who experience racism at increased risk for adult-onset asthma." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/264948.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.