National Institute on Aging

Study Finds a Link Between Racial Discrimination and Alcohol Abuse

iowaPrevious studies have established a link between individuals who have experienced racial discrimination and suffer from cardiovascular disease and other health problems. (See, for example, this JBHE post.) Now a new study led by researchers at the University of Iowa has established a firm link between racial discrimination and alcohol abuse.

Researchers found a total of 71 peer-reviewed articles relating to racial discrimination and drinking, leaving little doubt that a significant correlation exists. But the authors found significant gaps in the research.

Lead author Paul Gilbert, an assistant professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, notes that “the next step to advance science is to say what specific groups are involved, what specific type of discrimination are they experiencing, and what specifically were the alcohol outcomes. Was it just heavier drinking, or was it heavy drinking that led to dependence—or is it alcohol-related problems like getting in a car crash or work and family problems?”

The study, “Discrimination and Drinking: A Systematic Review of the Evidence,” was published on the website of the journal Social Science & Medicine. It may be accessed here.


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