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Medical mistrust impacts African American men's preventive health but racism also matters

August 07, 2019 / University of Connecticut

Mistrust of health care providers, fueled by painful experiences with racism, makes African American men more likely to delay routine screenings and doctors appointments, according to a new study in the journal Behavioral Medicine by the Health Disparities Institute at UConn Health, with potentially serious implications for their overall health. Medical mistrust is significantly contributing to delays in African American men utilizing the health care system says Dr. Wizdom Powell, the study's lead author, who is HDI director and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UConn School of Medicine. The new study reports that medical mistrust defined as a suspicion or lack of trust in medical organizations is associated with delays in African American men's routine health visits, blood pressure, and cholesterol screenings. It also found that men who report experiencing frequent everyday racism had higher odds of delaying screenings and routine health care visits. Also,...