Background African Americans have the highest rates of hypertension-related disease of any ethnic group in the USA. Importantly, racism and discrimination have been linked to these higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Discrimination is deleterious not only to those that are the recipients of this unfair treatment but also to the partners and family members of those affected as well to those that perpetrate this bias. Purpose In this paper, we identify a unique pattern of physiological response to unfair treatment, we have called the "cardiovascular conundrum."This pattern is characterized by greater heart rate variability and greater total peripheral resistance in African Americans compared to their European American counterparts. Methods and Results We review the evidence supporting the existence of this pattern and propose several physiological and psychological factors that might underpin it. We also propose a number of factors that might help to mitigate the deleterious effects associated with it. Conclusions Whereas the context of the current review is on Black/White disparities the framework we propose may be relevant to others exposed to unfair treatment. Ultimately, the systemic factors that perpetuate these inequalities will require that we first acknowledge and then face the challenges they present if we are to address the wealth and health disparities in our country.
Angry in america: Psychophysiological responses to unfair treatment / Thayer, J. F.; Carnevali, L.; Sgoifo, A.; Williams, D. P.. - In: ANNALS OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0883-6612. - 54:12(2020), pp. 924-931. [10.1093/abm/kaaa094]
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