Suffering from high blood pressure? It could be because of discrimination

Woman stressed while working
Woman stressed while working

A study has finally confirmed what many of us have always been aware of - discrimination is bad. It’s bad for society and it’s even worse when it comes to how it affects women and their health.

Everyday microaggressions – be it in the workplace or in social situations – has become increasingly common place. 

No. I think it’s always been there – the fact that it’s only coming to light now speaks volumes about how far we still have to go as a society in terms of not only making progress but creating equal opportunities for women.

Not only that, but we want to see the kind of workplace environment where women don’t have to face both subtle and blatant forms of harassment – whether it’s through an idea being shot down, only to be praised when a man suggests the same one, or when women are made to serve tea or coffee in meetings because it’s a designated “women’s role".

READ MORE: "I was outed as transgender and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life"

In this new study, reports that exposure to discrimination on a daily basis results in an increase in blood pressure over time. And we can understand why.  

Looking at the data collated from more than 2000 women across different racial and ethnic backgrounds, researchers asked women about their experiences when it comes to the following:

-times they felt like they weren’t being heard
-being patronised and made to feel stupid
-how they were treated in every day situations 

The focus wasn’t only on blatant forms of discrimination but delved into the subtle ways in which women experience bias against them in ways that aren’t overt – and ones that often go unnoticed because of it.

The study found that women who experienced any form of prejudice were more likely to have increased blood pressure and chronic stress especially if they’ve been subjected to discrimination over a long period of time.

One of the leading authors of the study, Beatty Moody, has said that the idea behind this was to specifically measure the “frequency of your day-to-day experiences of being harassed,” further reports.

READ MORE: How to call out problematic family and friend also notes that even with factors such as demographics and behavioural patterns taken into consideration, the results still confirm that long-term exposure to harassment and discrimination has an adverse effect on women.

We’ve always known that our emotional well-being is affected by the discrimination we face, but the fact that we have confirmation that how we’re treated and are perceived affects our blood pressure – which in turn – also potentially leads to other health complications, is more than a good reason to keep fighting the good fight against everyday sexism.

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