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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2009 Feb;30(2):104-11. doi: 10.1080/01612840802597879.

Racial discrimination and blood pressure: perceptions, emotions, and behaviors of black American adults.

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  • 1School of Nursing, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7460, USA. djbarksdale@unc.edu


This study examined racial discrimination and blood pressure (BP) in 211 Black Americans. Racial discrimination is a chronic stressor for many Black Americans and hypertension prevalence is high in this population. Secondary analyses of data from the study, "Everyday Life for Black American Adults," were conducted to examine relationships among perceived racial discrimination, emotional and behavioral responses to racism, and BP. Although racial discrimination was not correlated with BP, sadness and frustration were significantly but negatively correlated with BP. Speaking out and prayer were frequent behavioral responses to racism. Findings should sensitize healthcare providers to the effects of racial discrimination on the health of Black Americans.

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