Living among racists literally can kill you, say scientists

29 April 2015 - 02:04 By Katharine Child

Black Americans living in racist areas have a higher mortality rate than white people in the same areas and than black people living in less racist places. Researchers from the University of Maryland used the number of Google searches for the word "nigger" as an indication of the level of racism in an area. They found a correlation between a higher percentage of such searches and an increased mortality rate among black people.Their results - published in the open-access journal Plos One - showed that black people in more racist areas were 8.2% more likely to die early or of heart disease, cancer and strokes than black people in less racist areas.The likelihood decreased to 5.7% when poverty and education levels were taken into account.The researchers speculate that discrimination increases stress levels and inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher incidence of heart disease and cancers.

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