(HealthDay News) — For Black women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), incident racial discrimination is associated with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), according to a study published in the August issue of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Connor D. Martz, PhD, from the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues examined incident experiences of racial discrimination and changes in inflammatory biomarker CRP during a 2-year period among Black women with SLE. A total of 380 participants were enrolled from April 2015 to May 2017. The Experiences of Discrimination measure was used to assess incident racial discrimination biannually via self-report.

The researchers found that across the 2-year study period, incident experiences of racial discrimination were associated with elevated log-transformed CRP (b = 0.039). CRP increased 3.98% for each domain of incident racial discrimination experienced.

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“The results of this study contribute to a growing body of evidence indicating that racial discrimination is a toxic health threat, and that the embodiment of racial discrimination is one pathway through which racism contributes to inequitable health outcomes for Black Americans,” the authors write. “Policies and laws aimed at eliminating contemporary and persistent forms of racial discrimination are likely to advance health equity for Black women with SLE, as well as Black Americans more broadly.”

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