Discrimination and systemic inflammation: A critical review and synthesis

Adolfo G. Cuevas, Anthony D. Ong, Keri Carvalho, Thao Ho, Sze Wan (Celine) Chan, Jennifer D. Allen, Ruijia Chen, Justin Rodgers, Ursula Biba, David R. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Exposure to discrimination or unfair treatment has emerged as an important risk factor for illness and disease that disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities. Discriminatory experiences may operate like other stressors in that they activate physiological responses that adversely affect the maintenance of homeostasis. Research suggests that inflammation plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of stress-related diseases. Recent findings on discrimination and inflammation are discussed. We highlight limitations in the current evidence and provide recommendations for future studies that seek to examine the association between discrimination and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-479
Number of pages15
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Bias
  • Discrimination
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Unfair treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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