Navigation Links
Racism may accelerate aging in African-American men
Date:1/7/2014

A new study reveals that racism may impact aging at the cellular level. Researchers found signs of accelerated aging in African American men, ages reporting high levels of racial discrimination and who had internalized anti-Black attitudes. Findings from the study, which is the first to link racism-related factors and biological aging, are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Racial disparities in health are well-documented, with African Americans having shorter life expectancy, and a greater likelihood of suffering from aging-related illnesses at younger ages compared to Whites. Accelerated aging at the biological level may be one mechanism linking racism and disease risk.

"We examined a biomarker of systemic aging, known as leukocyte telomere length," explained Dr. David H. Chae, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and the study's lead investigator. Shorter telomere length is associated with increased risk of premature death and chronic disease such as diabetes, dementia, stroke and heart disease. "We found that the African American men who experienced greater racial discrimination and who displayed a stronger bias against their own racial group had the shortest telomeres of those studied."

Telomeres are repetitive sequences of DNA capping the ends of chromosomes, which shorten progressively over time at a rate of approximately 50-100 base pairs annually. Telomere length is variable, shortening more rapidly under conditions of high psychosocial and physiological stress. "Telomere length may be a better indicator of biological age, which can give us insight into variations in the cumulative 'wear and tear' of the organism net of chronological age," said Chae. Among African American men with stronger anti-Black attitudes, investigators found that average telomere length was 140 base pairs shorter in those reporting high vs. low levels of racial discrimination; this difference may equate to 1.4 to 2.8 years chronologically.

Participants in the study were 92 African American men between 30-50 years of age. Investigators asked them about their experiences of discrimination in different domains, including work and housing, as well as in getting service at stores or restaurants, from the police, and in other public settings. They also measured racial bias using the Black-White Implicit Association Test. This test gauges unconscious attitudes and beliefs about race groups that people may be unaware of or unwilling to report.

Even after adjusting for participants' chronological age, socioeconomic factors, and health-related characteristics, investigators found that the combination of high racial discrimination and anti-Black bias was associated with the shortest telomeres. On the other hand, the data revealed that racial discrimination had little relationship with telomere length among those holding pro-Black attitudes. "African American men who have more positive views of their racial group may be buffered from the negative impact of racial discrimination," explained Chae. "In contrast, those who have internalized an anti-Black bias may be less able to cope with racist experiences, which may result in greater stress and shorter telomeres."

The findings from this study are timely in light of regular media reports of racism facing African American men. "Stop-and-frisk policies, and other forms of criminal profiling such as 'driving or shopping while Black' are inherently stressful and have a real impact on the health of African Americans," said Chae. Researchers found that racial discrimination by police was most commonly reported by participants in the study, followed by discrimination in employment. In addition, African American men are more routinely treated with less courtesy or respect, and experience other daily hassles related to racism.

Chae indicated the need for additional research to replicate findings, including larger studies that follow participants over time. "Despite the limitations of our study, we contribute to a growing body of research showing that social toxins disproportionately impacting African American men are harmful to health," Chae explained. "Our findings suggest that racism literally makes people old."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelly Blake
kellyb@umd.edu
301-405-9418
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. The China National Genebank accelerates growth by a strategic alliance with BioStorage Technologies
2. Iris Biometrics Leader, EyeLock, Redefines Identity Authentication, Announces Availability of Software Development Kit to Accelerate Deployment of Technology
3. Mercyhurst Universitys new DNA sequencer to accelerate scientific research in region
4. Mount Sinai leads global program using stem cells to accelerate cures for Alzheimers disease
5. Researchers at IRB Barcelona discover a general mechanism that accelerates tumor development
6. Analytical trick accelerates protein studies
7. UCLA scientists develop new therapeutics that could accelerate wound healing
8. Sanford-Burnham and Intrexon Corporation establish collaboration to accelerate stem cell research
9. Rice agriculture accelerates global warming, new research finds
10. Molecular movies may accelerate anti-cancer drug discovery
11. NSF research alliances begin new efforts to accelerate innovation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Racism may accelerate aging in African-American men
(Date:1/27/2016)... , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a ... West Chester, Ohio announced today ... service staff, based in Austin, Texas ... ability to provide modifications, installations and technical support offerings ... CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world class ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... , January 21, 2016 ... a new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition ... Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), ... Global forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... to reach USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized breaches in ... find new ways to ensure data security and user ... and Android that ties a user,s ... it into a hardware authorization token. Customer service agents ... fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to verify their ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... has an active R&D program for the development of future ... has a unique research and development center in ... Control products. Stockton has a variety ... guidelines, and is active in more than 35 counties worldwide. ... Stockton,s flagship product Timorex Gold ® is ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ATCC, the ... poised to assist the medical and life science researchers ... Zika Virus infection.   CDC website . ... --> Zika virus is a single-stranded RNA virus ... the West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya Viruses. Zika virus ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Morf Media Inc ., ... interactive FDA compliance training course, Writing Effective SOPs (Standard ... interactive course on Morf Playbook—now conveniently available on smartphones and PCs--provides step by ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 Beike Biotechnology, the Shenzhen ... a ceremony in late 2015 to mark their successful ... 2016. --> --> ... Personalized Cell Therapy" was hosted by the Shenzhen Cell ... subsidiaries of Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: