Breast Cancer Risk Higher Among Black Women Who Experienced Racial Discrimination Than Those Who Did Not, Study Finds
Black women who feel they have been racially discriminated against are more likely than other black women to develop breast cancer, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Reuters/New York Post reports (Reuters/New York Post, 7/6).
For the report, lead researcher Teletia Taylor of Howard University and colleagues tracked 59,000 black women over a period of six years. The participants were asked whether they experienced "everyday" discrimination, such as receiving inferior customer service or feeling that others are "afraid" of them or act superior to them. Participants also were asked whether they felt "major" discrimination, such as in the workplace, in dealing with the police or trying to obtain housing.
Researchers found that participants who said they routinely experienced daily discrimination had a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who did not. Those who were reported major discrimination also were more likely to develop the disease. The connection between perceived discrimination and breast cancer was stronger among women younger than age 50, according to the study. Previous studies have indicated that perceived racial discrimination can affect individuals' health, likely because of added stress, which has been linked to poorer health, Reuters Health reports. Researchers suggested that further research is needed to determine the correlation between racism and breast cancer (Reuters Health, 7/5).
An abstract of the study is available online.