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Causes of Death: Social Inequities and Racial Disparities in Health - Dr. David Chae

  • Room 41-268 Center for Health Sciences (Fielding School of Public Health) 650 Charles E Young Drive South Los Angeles, CA, 90095 United States (map)

Causes of Death: Social Inequities and Racial Disparities in Health

Abstract: Racial disparities in health represent a significant social and moral dilemma, as well as a serious public health concern. Racism is a fundamental cause of racial disparities in health. Racial discrimination experienced interpersonally has been shown to increase disease risk, and also negatively impact disease progression and severity. Such experiences also maintain racially oppressive environmental conditions that generate racial disparities in health. Racism is also an ambient social toxin that can undermine health more insidiously, including through internalized racism and via biological processes underlying multiple disease pathways, such as accelerated aging at the cellular level. 

About the Speaker: David H. Chae holds a named associate professorship in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and is Director of the Center for Health Ecology and Equity Research at Auburn University. He received his doctoral degree in social epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed postdoctoral research as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley. He held previous faculty appointments at Emory University and the University of Maryland, College Park. As part of his work, David studies links between social hazards tied to race and risk factors for accelerated biological aging. He is currently the principal investigator of an NIH R01 research grant examining how racism-related factors impact disease progression among African American women with lupus. David also studies how racism at the area-level impacts health and mortality. Collectively, his work has provided further evidence for the ill health effects of racism.