NPR, October 28, 2017
Michel Martin

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Most people can acknowledge that discrimination has an insidious effect on the lives of minorities, even when it's unintentional. Those effects can include being passed over for jobs for which they are qualified or shut out of housing they can afford. And most people are painfully aware of the tensions between African-Americans and police.

But discrimination can also lead to a less obvious result: tangible, measurable negative effects on health. A new survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health asked members of different ethnic and racial groups about their experiences with discrimination. Ninety-two percent of African-American respondents said they felt discrimination against African-Americans exists in the United States today, and at least half said they have experienced it themselves at work or when interacting with police.

All of this discrimination can literally be deadly, according to Harvard professor David Williams, who has spent years studying the health effects of discrimination.

He tells NPR's Michel Martin: "Basically what we have found is that discrimination is a type of stressful life experience that has negative effects on health similar to other kinds of stressful experiences." [...]

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