© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

A study shows the 2016 presidential election had an adverse effect on minorities' health

Female doctor arms make medic procedure closeup
Ivan-balvan/Getty Images
/
iStockphoto
A new study out of the University of Florida suggests that presidential politics could have an adverse impact on your health.

The UF study indicates population-level blood pressure increased, especially among racial and ethnic minorities.

A new study out of the University of Florida suggests that presidential politics could have an adverse impact on your health.

It says population-level blood pressure — particularly among racial and ethnic minorities — might have increased following the 2016 presidential election.

Steven Smith, the lead author of the UF Health study — which was published recently in the American Journal of Human Biology — days even small changes in blood pressure put people at increased risk of a number of health factors.

"So even relatively small increases that are sustained over time and blood pressure can have pretty profound effects in terms of increasing an individual's risk for having some of those adverse outcomes, including heart attacks and strokes," Smith said.

Smith says the trend was driven by a rise in blood pressure among women.

Racial and ethnic minorities such as Asians, Blacks and non-white Hispanics saw the highest increases.

"The people who seem to be most affected by that psychosocial stress were individuals, minority individuals, including non-Hispanic Blacks, and Mexican Americans," Smith said.

The study did not show any significant changes in blood pressure in non-Hispanic whites.

Researchers warn against drawing any conclusions on the party affiliation of those whose blood pressure rose, as the survey didn’t ask about political leanings.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.