Home Creative writing Study Shows Racism Has a “Trauma-Like” Effect on Black Women’s Brains; increases the risk of future health problems

Study Shows Racism Has a “Trauma-Like” Effect on Black Women’s Brains; increases the risk of future health problems

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Besides the COVID pandemic, racism remains a public health crisis. This time a study involving the brains of black women across the country have found that racism increases the fight-or-flight response, which can lead to long-term health problems.

A study of 55 black women found that the traumatic response to incidents of racism elicited a stronger response than to other traumatic events. These responses can threaten both physical and emotional health.

Meanwhile, black Americans continue to face disparities in physical health, including higher rates of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. However, this study is the first to link incidents of racism to a brain response.

According to the study authors, “our research suggests that racism has a traumatic effect on the health of black women; Listening to the threat of racism on a regular basis can tax important bodily regulatory tools and worsen brain health. Other trauma research shows that this type of continued threat response can increase the risk of further mental health disorders and future brain health problems. ”



The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate the effects of racism as a form of trauma. Knowing the effects of racism on the health of black women may inform further research on how to address structural racism as a public health crisis.

LaToya Smith, a nurse from Tulsa, says, “Toxic stress from racism has plagued black women for hundreds of years, leading to poor health outcomes including, but not limited to obesity and heart disease. There must be a concerted effort not only to improve health outcomes for black women, but also to improve access to care. ”

Meanwhile, Dr Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa health department, noted that “Research shows that a history of individual and structural racism denies people of color the opportunity. If, as a society, we don’t focus on structural racism, we will never achieve health equity in this country.


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