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Linking Racial Discrimination and Health

New research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and NPR shows how discrimination affects health and well-being. The report series, Discrimination in America, examines the experiences and perceptions of discrimination among African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, whites, LGBTQ adults, men and women.

Based on a survey of 3,453 adults, the report reveals that African Americans are most likely to feel like discrimination exists in America today compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Almost one-third of African Americans reported they experienced racial discrimination when going to a doctor or a health clinic and nearly half have experienced discrimination when buying or renting a house. The survey also found that almost 20% of Latinos have avoided medical care due to concern of being discriminated against or treated poorly.

The survey also highlighted respondents’ experiences with racial discrimination in other areas of life including interactions with the police, applying for jobs, and receiving equal pay. As disparities among racial and ethnic minorities widen, the report underscores the need for strategies that address structural racism as a social determinant of health.

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