Ninety-five percent of older African-American clinic patients reported at least some exposure to racism during their lives in a study by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

The study authors say that the ways in which patients react to racism may affect their health outcomes.

The authors also suggest that medical professionals need to be more aware of their African-American patients’ day-to-day experience of racism and the effect that experience might have on their level of trust in the health care system, which in turn might affect how closely they follow medical advice. The study was published online on October 7 in the “OnlineEarly” section of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
American Geriatrics Society