Black youth who report experiencing frequent incidents of discrimination during adolescence are at a greater risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke in later years.
The findings come at the conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia and Emory University.
The study also found that emotional support from parents and peers can protect African American youth from stress-related damage to their bodies and health. […]
African American 20-year-olds who had reported frequent discrimination during adolescence experienced high levels of allostatic load—the biological wear and tear on the body due to exposure to repeated stress—placing them at risk for chronic diseases as they grow older, the study found.
In the past health professionals attributed such chronic illness with the effects of age on the body, but the current research shows that these illnesses originate much earlier.
Researchers collected information for 331 African American youth living in rural Georgia in towns where poverty and unemployment is rampant.
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