Are racial differences in disease prevalence able to intensify cardiovascular conditions?
A recent study published in the International journal of behavioral medicine in September 2011 and conducted, by Dr. Sarah Szanton from Johns Hopkins University, MD, in collaboration with others scientists suggested that
- African-Americans who suffer psychologically from racial discrimination have higher levels of oxidative stress in their bodies, creating an increase in chronic illnesses including cardiovascular events.
A brief reminder
- An actual behavior towards members of another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups.
- Generates the production of peroxides and free radicals. These toxins damage all cellular components including DNA, proteins and lipids. It is involved in heart failure and or myocardial infarction.
- Establishes a relation between oxidative stress, illnesses and the existence of biological stress. He published ‘Stress and Disease’ in October 1955.
- Stress is defined as ‘failure to respond adequately to mental, emotional, or physical demands, whether actual or imagined’.
Economy, losing jobs, etc., and heighten health problems.
- With a rundown economy, anyone who has lost their job, house, status, etc., is facing multiple challenges that should indeed raise concerns within the health care system. This cascade of events can escalate into strokes and heart attacks.
- Acute bereavement is associated with inflammatory and prothrombotic changes that may contribute to intensified cardiovascular risk.
Pesticides or other chemicals
- These can heighten the levels of specific hormones in circulating blood, hence intensifying the disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis.
- This is where adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulates the synthesis of cortisol and glucocorticoids. Both hormones are often produced in response to biological stress.
- Corticoids involve the whole body in the organism’s response to stress.
- Regulates or supports a variety of important cardiovascular and metabolic functions.
- Elevated circulating cortisol-to-testosterone ratio increases the risk of ischemic heart disease, apparently mediated through the insulin resistance syndrome.
- Father of free-radical theory of aging published in 1950. Free radical damage is closely associated with oxidative damage.
- Thus the foundation of antioxidants therapy.
Is discrimination a factor for cardiovascular events in specific groups cited above?
- Dr. Sarah Szanton hypothesis may be viewed for truth when it is just a hypothesis.