Friday, 4 September 2009

Diversity = Death and Sickness

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Living in a neighborhood with a lot of people of similar ethnic background may have some health benefit, hints a new study from the United Kingdom.

In the study, fewer activity-limiting long-term illnesses were reported by people who lived in neighborhoods they felt were more than half made up of people with whom they shared a common ethnicity.

This effect was seen among white (primarily of British and Irish ancestry), Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and African race and ethnic groups, despite the tendency of ethnic minorities to "live in deprived neighborhoods," Dr. Mai Stafford, from University College London, told Reuters Health in an email correspondence.

Stafford's team measured actual ethnic density of various neighborhoods and asked residents for their views on the ethnic makeup of their own neighborhood.

The study included 8,850 whites, 1,299 Indians, 678 Pakistanis, 233 Bangladeshis, 690 Africans, and 820 of Caribbean ethnicity.

The investigators found general agreement between actual and perceived ethnic density, except that whites tended to underestimate the proportion of whites in their neighborhoods.

By contrast, "ethnic minority participants tended to overestimate the proportion of people from the same ethnic background as themselves in the local area," Stafford said.

A health benefit of living in neighborhood with people of the same ethnic background was evident for all ethnic groups - except those of Caribbean ethnicity.

For unexplained reasons that need further study, those of Caribbean ethnicity reported fewer long-term illnesses associated with actual, rather than perceived, ethnic density.

In earlier research, Stafford and colleagues reported ethnic minorities living in areas with greater proportions of "co-ethnics" experience less racial discrimination and associated stress, which may partially explain the current findings.

They call for continued investigations to further explain and clarify the impact neighborhood ethnic density has on overall health.

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Andraste said...

Not just physical health but what about mental health? I have my own theories on what a multi-cultural society does to the mind of different ethnicities... however, it is worth looking at the level of schizophrenia is ethnic minorities in the UK. This report deals with a study conducted some time ago in London:

Note that the politically conclusion for the results of course state that one of the reasons could be "racism"!!! Like all such studies such conclusions are determined before the beginning of the study, however it is interesting that mental health is obvoiuosly affecting by ones ethnnic environment.

Anonymous said...

Andraste said...
"Not just physical health but what about mental health? I have my own theories on what a multi-cultural society does to the mind of different ethnicities"

How about a multi culti party Andraste?

Andraste said...

You know when the enemy is defeated because all they have left is inane and banal statements like the idiot on this thread. Is that the best they can do? LOL, oh dear.