Posted on May 4, 2023

Fund Research on Racism’s Health Impacts, Says European Group

Layal Liverpool, Nature, April 28, 2023

A network of European health organizations and parliamentarians is calling for the European Commission to explicitly recognize racism as a key factor that can negatively affect people’s health, and to prioritize the issue for research funding.

“It’s about time,” says Sarah Hamed, a sociologist at Uppsala University in Sweden who researches racism in health care. “Racism should be seen as a public-health issue.”

Some 30 organizations and 3 members of the European Parliament co-signed a statement to the European Commission, presented in Luxembourg on 19 April, calling for it to name racism as a health determinant in legislative and policy documents.

{snip} The statement calls for increased support by the commission for data collection and research aimed at investigating and addressing the harms to health that racism can cause.


But most studies on the health impacts of racism are conducted in the United States. Unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, many European Union nations don’t routinely collect health or other data disaggregated by race and ethnicity, making such research challenging to conduct.


Hamed thinks that research in her field would benefit from targeted funding calls for studies explicitly focused on racism. Research that she and her colleagues conducted on racism in Swedish health care was funded as part of a specific call from the Swedish Research Council for projects on racism and discrimination. {snip}