New Study Reveals Racism May Increase the Risk of Stroke in Black Women

December 1, 2023
Olajide A. Williams, MD, MS

Olajide A. Williams, MD, MS Professor and Chief of Staff of Neurology, Associate Dean of Community Research and Engagement, Columbia University Irving Medical Center Co-Director of the Community Engagement Core Resource, Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research

Black women who reported experiencing racism may be at an increased risk of having a stroke, a new study finds.

Participants who said they experienced racism in employment, housing and interactions with police had an estimated 38% higher chance of experiencing all types of strokes compared to Black women who didn’t perceive experiencing racism, the study found.

Strokes are caused by damaged or blocked blood vessels that starve the brain of oxygen, resulting in brain cell death, said Dr. Olajide Williams, a professor of neurology and vice dean of community health at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Chronic psychosocial stressors like discrimination, he said, can lead to toxic stress, which is dangerous to the body. [read more]

Source: NBC News Online