Navigation Links
Perceived age and weight discrimination worse for health than perceived racism and sexism

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Perceived age and weight discrimination, more than perceived race and sex discrimination, are linked to worse health in older adults, according to new research from the Florida State University College of Medicine.

The findings are part of a study measuring changes in health over a four-year period and published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

"Our previous research showed that perceived discrimination based on body weight was associated with risk of obesity. We wanted to see whether this association extended to other health indicators and types of discrimination," said lead author Angelina Sutin, assistant professor of behavioral sciences and social medicine.

"What we found was unexpected and striking."

Sutin and colleagues found that older adults who perceived weight discrimination and older adults who perceived discrimination based on age, a physical disability or other aspect of appearance had significantly lower physical and emotional health and greater declines in health compared to people who did not report experiencing such discrimination.

In contrast, perceived discrimination based on relatively fixed characteristics race, sex, ancestry and sexual orientation were largely unrelated to declines in physical and emotional health for the older adults.

The findings are based on a sample of more than 6,000 adults who participated in the Health and Retirement Study, a study of Americans ages 50 and older and their spouses. Participants reported on their physical, emotional and cognitive health in 2006 and 2010 and also reported on their perceived experiences with discrimination.

"We know how harmful discrimination based race and sex can be, so we were surprised that perceived discrimination based on more malleable characteristics like age and weight had a more pervasive effect on health than discrimination based on these more fixed characteristics," Sutin said.

The one exception was loneliness.

Loneliness was the most widespread health consequence of discrimination among older adults. Discrimination based on every characteristic assessed in Sutin's study was associated with greater feelings of loneliness. According to previous studies, the effects of chronic loneliness are severe: increased risk for unhealthy behaviors, sleep disturbances, cardiovascular risk factors and suicide.

"Humans have a strong need to belong, and people often feel distressed when they do not have their desired social relationships," Sutin said. "Our research suggests that perceiving a hostile society is associated with pervasive feelings of loneliness. An individual may interpret discrimination as an indication that they do not fit in the society in which they live."


Contact: Doug Carlson
Florida State University

Related medicine news :

1. Social status and power of action of speakers determine the way their statements are perceived
2. Music decreases perceived pain for kids in pediatric ER: UAlberta medical research
3. School policies reduce student drinking -- if theyre perceived to be enforced
4. Does changing the price of medicine influence consumers perceived health risk?
5. Study examines how elderly go from being perceived as capable consumer to old person
6. Perceived control affects complication rates in patients with acute coronary syndrome
7. Nurse leader resistance perceived as a barrier to high-quality, evidence-based patient care
8. Weight-loss surgery can reduce liver damage
9. Risk of weight gain deters some smokers from seeking treatment to quit
10. Studies presented at ACOG Annual Meeting reveal new information about weight and pregnancy
11. Long-term antibiotic treatment for Q fever causes weight gain
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched a new Android app for ... features a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality on a 100-point scale and ... created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to provide an easy to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ... Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of ... and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) learned that the number of ... time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities involving an alcohol impaired driver, ... Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2014. Drunk ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Silver Spring, Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups ... the history of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... announced that it has undertaken significant expansion of its current state of the ... is part of PharmaTech’s strategy to increase its manufacturing capacity as well as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 3D ... by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View ... Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is expected to ... cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> 3D ... by 2022, according to a new report by Grand View ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, ... their offering. --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... adds "Global Repaglinide Industry ... Report on China Repaglinide Market, 2010-2019" ... data and information to its online ... . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: