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White racism tied to fatal heart disease for blacks and whites

Living in unabashedly racist communities can shorten the lives of both blacks and whites, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Researchers compared the racial biases of nearly 1.4 million people nationwide to death rates in more than 1,700 U.S. counties. Their findings suggest that blacks and, to a lesser degree, whites who reside in overtly racist communities are more prone to dying from heart disease and other circulatory diseases.

“This suggests that living in a racially hostile environment might be detrimental to both the group targeted by this bias, in this case blacks, as well as the group that harbors the bias, in this case whites,” said study lead author Jordan Leitner, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at UC Berkeley. The findings were just published in the online edition of the journalĀ Psychological Science.

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