May 1, 2005

"Feelings of Discrimination May Hurt the Heart"

This is the surprisingly insightful headline on an otherwise bogus health report:

Stress stemming from discrimination may be causing coronary artery calcification in black women, says a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The investigators found that the more discrimination the women felt, the more likely they were to have coronary artery calcification, a buildup of calcium in blood vessels that's associated with atherosclerosis.

"We know from other studies in this area that stressful life experiences can have an effect on cardiovascular outcomes," Tene Lewis, a health psychologist in preventive medicine at Rush, said in a prepared statement. "Discrimination appears to be a stressor that has particular relevance for the health of African-American women."

The study included 181 middle-aged black women from the Chicago and Pittsburgh areas. The women completed a questionnaire that assessed their experiences of subtle discrimination, such as being ignored or treated with a lack of courtesy or respect.

"The women reported discrimination in the form of having poorer service in stores or restaurants, being treated as if they were less smart, or being treated as if they were dishonest," Lewis said.

She noted that discrimination today is more subtle than in the past.

"It's rare that someone would use blatantly racist language in public, but that doesn't mean that discrimination is no longer a problem," Lewis said.

The study found that coronary artery calcification was present in 59.6 percent of the women and the more discrimination they reported, the more likely they were to have any calcification.

It's a little hard to understand why some black women would be discriminated against more than other black women. I thought whites were accused of discriminating between races, not among

Of course, this survey isn't reporting anything objective at all about the actual occurrence of discrimination. It's simply reporting subjective perceptions.

Not surprisingly, what this report is really saying is that black women who are angrier at whites have more heart problems.

Anger is bad for your heart.

Further, this suggests that the media's relentless attempts to inculcate black anger at whites over perceptions of discrimination may be killing blacks.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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