Long-Term Health Consequences Caused by 2016 Election

Harvard researchers find hostile politics inreases risk for disease, premature births, and deaths.

June 10, 2017 5:00 am
Political tensions could make Americans sick, new research finds.
Political tensions could make Americans sick, new research finds. (Getty Images)

However nauseating some politicians may be figuratively, hostile American politics could literally make us sick.

Since the 2016 election, researchers say people with racist sentiments have been emboldened, sparking anxiety and stress in many Americans who don’t share those extreme views. Marginalized groups are more likely to experience negative physical and mental health effects as a result.

Conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, the study found that communities living in high levels of racial prejudice were associated with increased risk for disease and death.

The study, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, explored the ramifications of big events in public like political elections and 9/11. It also drew upon a 2017 study by the American Psychological Association that found two-thirds of all Americans were stressed about the future of the United States.

Among the adverse health effects, researchers warned of an increase in preventable childhood diseases, chronic diseases like hypertension, and premature births.

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