PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Racial discrimination among teens linked to unhealthy stress hormone levels

2023-09-27
(Press-News.org) Audio

Scientists already know that the stress caused by racial discrimination is related to a host of chronic health conditions, but less is known about which types of discrimination are most harmful. 

 

To answer that question, researchers at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology surveyed 100 adolescents aged 13-19, who had obesity or who were overweight, about their experiences with institutional, peer, educational and cumulative discrimination. 

 

They measured their salivary cortisol five times a day over three days, and found that teens who experienced peer discrimination—racial discrimination from other teens–—had unhealthy levels of the so-called stress hormone cortisol circulating in their bodies throughout the day. Disruptions in cortisol patterns can lead to unhealthy cortisol levels in the body, which is connected to many chronic health conditions. 

 

"While it wasn't the most frequently experienced type of discrimination, it did have the greatest impact," said Rebecca Hasson, associate professor of movement science and director of the Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory. "When you think about it, that makes a lot of sense because at that age peers are probably the most important relationships." 

 

When is cortisol unhealthy?

 

Some stress is good, and our bodies need it, Hasson said. In healthy people, cortisol is highest in the morning, which helps us feel alert and awake. Cortisol falls gradually as the day wears on, and this slope is called the diurnal pattern. But stressors can disrupt that pattern and blunt that slope, so cortisol is lower in the morning but doesn't fall as much throughout the day.

 

"That's when it becomes harmful," Hasson said, and that's what happened to the teens who reported more peer discrimination. "We know this can lead to increased rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes risk, anxiety and depression, almost any sort of chronic disease you can think of is negatively impacted by unhealthy cortisol patterns." 

 

Discrimination harmed all children

 

The study found that racial discrimination was harmful to both Black and white teens. 

 

"The key difference is African American or Black children experience it more frequently," Hasson said. "A really important point is that racial discrimination is harmful to everyone. We need to strive towards acknowledging everyone's humanity. Is there a way in which we, as kinesiologists, can harness the power of physical activity to ignite that change?"

 

Other findings include: 

 

Overall, 69% of participants reported exposure to at least one type of racial discrimination (34% experienced one type,16% experienced two types and 19% experienced three types). 57% of Black adolescents reported institutional racial discrimination compared to 27% of white teens, and nearly three times as much perceived stress due to that exposure. Black teens reported roughly twice the perceived stress from cumulative and educational discrimination than white adolescents.  Baseline awakening cortisol levels were significantly lower in Black adolescents compared to white adolescents.   

Hasson's lab has developed a series of home and classroom physical activity programs called Interrupting Prolonged sitting with Activity (InPACT), to provide children with activity breaks throughout the day. Researchers hope exercise is one way to help combat the negative health effects of stress and racial discrimination, and foster the positive peer relationships that discourage racism. 

 

"The goal isn't just to buffer the effects of discrimination, but to develop policies and programs to eliminate it," Hasson said. 

 

The study appears online in Psychosomatic Medicine.

 

Study abstract: Racial discrimination and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation in adolescents with overweight and obesity: does context matter?

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Psychological aspects of erectile dysfunction deserve more attention, health scientists say

2023-09-27
Washington, DC (September 27, 2023) -- Personality traits and mental health problems are among the factors linked to erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that affects up to 80% of men over the age of 60. But researchers often overlook these psychological causes and their treatments in favor of biological components of ED, according to a new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science.  In a review of existing research, Mark S. Allen, Alex M. Wood (Leeds Trinity University), and David Sheffield ...

Ochsner Health named to Newsweek’s America’s Greatest Workplaces for Parents and Families 2023

2023-09-27
NEW ORLEANS– Ochsner Health was recently named one of the 2023 America’s Greatest Workplaces for Parents and Families by Newsweek and market-data research firm Plant-A Insights Group. A large-scale employer study based on over 224,000 company reviews aided in selecting 800 companies and organizations nationwide for the inaugural list. “It is an honor to be named among the greatest workplaces in the nation for parents and families. Our top priority at Ochsner is to put patients first, and we know employees are at their best when they have a healthy work-life balance directly correlating with the high-quality care offered to our patients ...

Your Zoom background might influence the first impression you make

Your Zoom background might influence the first impression you make
2023-09-27
In a new study, participants tended to judge faces appearing against backgrounds featuring houseplants or bookcases as more trustworthy and competent than faces with a living space or a novelty image behind them. Gender and facial expression also appeared to influence judgments. Research led by Paddy Ross, Abi Cook  and Meg Thompson at Durham University, UK is publishing in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on September 27, 2023. Prior research has demonstrated that first impressions can make a real difference in people’s lives; for example, ...

Lack of financial planning linked to higher risk of death in US and UK

Lack of financial planning linked to higher risk of death in US and UK
2023-09-27
People who are less socioeconomically advantaged have lower life expectancies, with a number of possible underlying mechanisms, such as less ability to spend on healthcare or the psychological effects of economic inequality. Prior research also shows that many households struggle to financially prepare for old age. However, few researchers have explored whether forward-thinking financial decision making is itself associated with lower risk of death. To address this potential link, Gladstone and Hundtofte analyzed data spanning a 22-year period for 11,478 older people living in the US and ...

Male and female Olympic shooters perform equally well when targets are stationary, though men have the edge for moving targets, per analysis of 2021 Tokyo Olympics which trialed mixed-gender events

Male and female Olympic shooters perform equally well when targets are stationary, though men have the edge for moving targets, per analysis of 2021 Tokyo Olympics which trialed mixed-gender events
2023-09-27
Male and female Olympic shooters perform equally well when targets are stationary, though men have the edge for moving targets, per analysis of 2021 Tokyo Olympics which trialed mixed-gender events. #### Article URL:  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0291017 Article Title: Do women and men compete equally on a level playing field? An empirical investigation into the 2021 Olympic shooting competitions Author Countries: USA, Spain Funding: The authors received no specific ...

Tree rings reveal a new kind of earthquake threat to the Pacific Northwest

Tree rings reveal a new kind of earthquake threat to the Pacific Northwest
2023-09-27
In February, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the Turkey-Syria border, followed by one nearly as large nine hours later. Shallow faults less than 18 miles beneath the surface buckled and ruptured, causing violent focused quakes that leveled thousands of buildings and killed tens of thousands. Similar shallow faults ruptured about 1,000 years ago in the Puget Lowlands in western Washington, according to new University of Arizona-led research. Tree rings helped pinpoint that the seismic event occurred in late A.D. 923 or ...

Researchers find potential way to tweak immune system to help it fight tuberculosis

2023-09-27
Tuberculosis is old—ancient even. The infectious bacterial disease that plagued Old Testament Israelites and took down pharaohs was eventually stunted by vaccinations, antibiotics, and public health measures like isolation, but it hasn’t been cured yet. More than a million people around the world still die from TB every year. Now, a Boston University-led research team has found a way to tweak immune cells to better fight the disease and—with the right backing and funding—they say it could ...

Researchers discover disease-causing stem cells in lungs of cystic fibrosis patients

Researchers discover disease-causing stem cells in lungs of cystic fibrosis patients
2023-09-27
Two nationally recognized experts in cloning and stem cell science from the University of Houston, Wa Xian and Frank McKeon, are reporting that five lung stem cell variants dominate the lungs of patients with advanced cystic fibrosis (CF), and that these variants drive key aspects of CF pathology including inflammation, fibrosis and mucin secretion.      Cystic fibrosis is an inherited and progressive disease that causes long-lasting lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. It is caused by a defect in a gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator ...

Combating distrust online: New GW study explains why current messaging efforts may not be effective

2023-09-27
WASHINGTON (September 27, 2023) - New research led by the George Washington University finds that current mitigation efforts to combat distrust online may not be effective because organizations and governments tackling distrust are only targeting one topic and only one geographical scale. The study shows that online distrust has become a ‘glocal’ phenomenon, meaning that it is spreading with different topics lumped together and mixing both local and global interests.  “The key takeaway here is that distrust ...

When needs compete, love trumps thirst

2023-09-27
ITHACA, N.Y. – While many studies have investigated the neuroscience behind how an animal learns to achieve a goal, such as obtaining water when thirsty, none have understood how animals choose between several competing needs – until now. A Cornell University-led study, published Sept. 27 in the journal Nature, used advanced techniques developed by researchers to track the brain’s dopamine reward system and found – for the first time ­– this system flexibly retunes toward the most important goal when faced with multiple competing needs. In the study, when a lonely and thirsty male zebra finch encountered a female, his thirst waned and ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Tanzanian officials praise NEST360 contribution to newborn care

4D Medicine raises £3.4 million for unique biomaterial platform

Ancient marine animal had inventive past despite being represented by few species, new study finds

Quantum sensor for the atomic world developed through international scientific collaboration

The research was wrong: study shows moderate drinking won’t lengthen your life

Save your data on printable magnetic devices? New laser technique’s twist might make this reality

Early onset dementia more common than previously reported – the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease seems to be on the rise

Pesticides potentially as bad as smoking for increased risk in certain cancers

NUS researchers develop new battery-free technology to power electronic devices using ambient radiofrequency signals

New protein discovery may influence future cancer treatment

Timing matters: Scripps Research study shows ways to improve health alerts

New gene therapy approach shows promise for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Chemical analyses find hidden elements from renaissance astronomer Tycho Brahe’s alchemy laboratory

Pacific Northwest launches clean hydrogen energy hub

Tiny deletion in heart muscle protein briefly affects embryonic ventricles but has long-term effects on adult atrial fibrillation

Harms of prescribing NSAIDs to high risk groups estimated to cost NHS £31m over 10 years

Wearing a face mask in public spaces cuts risk of common respiratory symptoms, suggests Norway study

Some private biobanks overinflating the value of umbilical cord blood banking in marketing to expectant parents

New research in fatty liver disease aims to help with early intervention

Genetics reveal ancient trade routes and path to domestication of the Four Corners potato

SNIS 2024: New study shows critical improvements in treating rare eye cancer in children

Wearable devices can increase health anxiety. Could they adversely affect health?

Addressing wounds of war

Rice researchers develop innovative battery recycling method

It’s got praying mantis eyes

Stroke recovery: It’s in the genes

Foam fluidics showcase Rice lab’s creative approach to circuit design

Montana State scientists publish evidence for new groups of methane-producing organisms

Daily rhythms depend on receptor density in biological clock

New England Journal of Medicine publishes outcomes from practice-changing E1910 trial for patients with BCR::ABL1-negative B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

[Press-News.org] Racial discrimination among teens linked to unhealthy stress hormone levels