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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, February 12, 2018

Research Confirms That Low Income Black and Hispanic College Graduates Have Higher Health Risks

Poor college graduates

A recent study has found that disadvantaged minorities who graduated college in the United States are more likely to develop health risks compared to those graduates who are white and even to other minorities that came from advantaged backgrounds.

The study conducted by the team lead by UNC sociology professor Kathleen Mullan Harris and UNC researcher Lauren Gaydosh entitled "College completion predicts lower depression but higher metabolic syndrome among disadvantaged minorities in young adulthood," discovered that completing college does not necessarily result in a better well-being for all. Though all races benefit from it mentally, that is not the case when it comes to physical health, according to the study.

The primary findings show that Black Americans and Hispanic Americans degree holders from disadvantaged background have a higher tendency of acquiring metabolic syndromes such as diabetes, heart attack, and stroke compared to graduates who are white and minorities that came from advantaged backgrounds. At the same time, those similarly disadvantaged who did not finish college don't have the same health risks.

The study theorizes that the reason for such disparity is the amount of stress and hardship they had to overcome to achieve educational success within a discriminatory society.

The study claims that although African-Americans and Hispanic Americans seem resilient psychologically, it doesn't mean that the stressors do not affect their physical health negatively.

To be able to alleviate the risks, Harris suggests that "policies and programs are needed to help African-American and Hispanic young adults avoid the stresses and social isolation they experience when they move up the social ladder and complete a college degree."
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