Navigation Links
Skin color matters when it comes to Canadians' health: UBC study
Date:10/12/2011

A new University of British Columbia study finds that Black Canadians with darker skin are more likely to report poorer health than Black Canadians with lighter skin. The study also suggests that a mismatched racial identity can negatively affect health.

The study, published online in the current issue of Social Science & Medicine journal, provides the first Canadian evidence of the health effects of "colourism," discrimination targeted more strongly at darker-skinned than lighter-skinned people of colour, says the author.

Researchers surveyed the self-reported racial identities -- Asian, Black, South Asian and White -- of nearly 1,500 participants from Vancouver and Toronto across four key health indicators: high blood pressure, depression, mental health and overall health.

While some findings support existing research -- that Black Canadians are more likely than others to report high blood pressure and that Asian Canadians are most likely to report poorer mental health -- the study found that Black Canadians with darker skin were as much as four times more likely than Black Canadians with lighter skin to report poor overall health.

Although U.S. scholars have researched the wide-ranging effects of colourism for African Americans, including effects on health, the UBC study's author Prof. Gerry Veenstra, Dept. of Sociology, says this is the first study to suggest that colourism can affect the health of Canadians as well.

"The findings indicate that, for Black Canadians, levels of discrimination can depend on the relative darkness or lightness of their skin," says Veenstra. "For health researchers and policymakers, this means that the broad racial classifications typically used by health researchers may actually underestimate the magnitude of racial health inequalities in this country."

"This is a first step to understanding colourism's manifestations in Canada and the degree to which and for whom it affects health and well-being," adds Veenstra, who plans to study whether colourism affects other Canadian racial identities.

The study also finds that mistaking an individual's racial identity can have significant negative physical or mental impacts. Participants who reported higher levels of racial identity mismatches were found to be at greater risk of high blood pressure, poorer self-rated mental health and poorer self-rated overall health.

"For instance, people who considered themselves to be White but believed others tend to think they are something else -- perhaps that they were of mixed race, for example -- were at a higher risk of high blood pressure and poor mental health," Veenstra says.

While the study did not investigate the causes of this phenomenon, Veenstra says previous studies have suggested that people experience stress when the cues provided by others do not match their conceptions of themselves, a stress that can be strong enough to elicit adverse health outcomes.


'/>"/>
Contact: Basil Waugh
basil.waugh@ubc.ca
604-822-2048
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. University of Colorado Cancer Center test helps reduce risk of death in advanced lung cancer
2. UT Southwestern, Parkland partner for $6.3 million NCI grant to improve colorectal cancer screenings
3. Popular colorectal cancer drug may cause permanent nerve damage
4. Relation of alcohol consumption to colorectal cancer
5. Single flexible sigmoidoscopy screening associated with reduced colorectal cancer
6. Report finds large state disparities in progress against colorectal cancer
7. High folate intake may reduce risk of colorectal cancer
8. Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer: Who, Me?
9. Kentucky Goes on the Offensive Against Colorectal Cancer
10. The cellular root of colorectal cancers?
11. Following colorectal cancer surgery, longer delay before chemotherapy associated with worse survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing ... companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, ... the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where ... city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are confused ... endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms and ... help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to ... leaders in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has ... the world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... firsts,: , TwinLink™ - the first dual ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: