Community Lynching and the US Asthma Epidemic

Wallace, Rodrick and Fullilove, Mindy and Wallace, Deborah (2003) Community Lynching and the US Asthma Epidemic. [Preprint]

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We explore the implications of IR Cohen's work on immune cognition for understanding rising rates of asthma morbidity and mortality in the US. Immune cognition is inherently linked with central nervous system cognition, and with the cognitive function of the embedding sociocultural networks by which individuals are acculturated and through which they work with others to meet challenges of threat and opportunity. Externally-imposed patterns of 'structured stress' can, through their effect on a child's socioculture, become synergistic with the development of immune cognition, triggering the persistence of an atopic Th2 phenotype, a necessary precursor to asthma and other immune diseases. Structured stress in the US particularly includes the cross sectional and longitudinal effects of a systematic destruction of minority urban communities occurring since the end of World War II which we characterize as community lynching. Reversal of the rising tide of asthma and related chronic diseases in the US thus seems unlikely without a 21st Century version of the earlier Great Urban Reforms which ended the scourge of infectious diseases, in particular an end to the de-facto ethnic cleansing of minority neighborhood

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:American apartheid, asthma, atopy, community lynching, immune cognition, information theory, stress
Subjects:Psychology > Psychobiology
ID Code:2757
Deposited By: Wallace, Rodrick
Deposited On:03 Feb 2003
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

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