Science

Discrimination Affects Blood Pressure, Study Says

By Duna Bil , Dec 23, 2016 10:34 AM EST
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A recent study conducted by medical researchers found a link between discrimination and a genetic marker in our bodies that increases blood pressure. This finding is deemed significant and timely as cases of discrimination have been on the rise and reports of heart problems have also been increasing.

Discrimination can come in any form and shapes. Most popular are racial and gender discriminations that affect a large portion of the population. It's no wonder African-Americans are reported to suffer hypertension more than any other race in America. Interestingly, according to some studies, women also suffer from high blood pressure more than men.

Other environmental factors also come into play in triggering high blood pressure. Educational background and financial status also play key roles, however, researchers found that nothing impacts overall health than the stress brought about by discrimination and unfair treatment.

The explanation for this, the researchers state, is the presence of a certain genetic marker that interacts with the negative experience which results to alteration in blood pressure. Moreover, there are other genetic variants that when combined with socially and psychologically distressing events, can also trigger other illnesses such as cancer and mental disorders, Science Daily. reports.

Even more intriguing is the finding in another study which claims that even second-hand discrimination can also negatively affect blood pressure. This means that knowing someone, or being close with someone, who experiences the discrimination can have the same physical result as actually being the one who receives it.

This new finding is gaining interest among the researchers as this has never been linked to hypertension before. They are promising to dig deeper and investigate other significant variables that will support the finding, Kbia reports.

The social impact of the study clearly demonstrates how discrimination is such a powerful negative experience that not only affects the target but also influences the overall health of the people who are connected with the person.

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