Political Junk Science: Stress from Trump election to kill minorities, reports New England Journal of Medicine

I got the the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association fired in January 1999 for this kind of political junk science. I want another hide for my office.

The media release for the new NEJM study is below.

Click for the JunkScience.com doings that got former JAMA editor George Lundberg fired on Jan. 15, 1999.


Recent presidential election could have negative impact on health

Boston, MA – Stress, increased risk for disease, babies born too early, and premature death are among the negative health impacts that could occur in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to a new article from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital.

Marginalized groups are likely to be most affected, the authors said. That’s because hostile attitudes toward racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, and Muslims–which appear to have been brought more to the surface with the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump–have been linked in previous studies with both mental and physical adverse health effects.

The article appears in the June 8, 2017 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Elections can matter for the health of children and adults in profound ways that are often unrecognized and unaddressed,” said David R. Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at Harvard Chan School and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and lead author of the article.

Williams and co-author Morgan Medlock, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital, explored a small but growing body of evidence on how election campaigns can influence health, and considered the implications for health care providers. They looked at existing studies that examined health impacts in the wake of the elections of former U.S. presidents, including President Donald Trump.

Studies conducted after President Obama was elected found an uptick in racial animosity among white Americans and a proliferation of hate websites and anti-Obama sentiment on social media. Donald Trump’s election appeared to heighten already hostile attitudes toward racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, and Muslims, according to some early research.

Williams and Medlock cited a number of studies suggesting that such societal hostility can have serious health effects. For example:

A January 2017 national survey by the American Psychological Association found that a large proportion of U.S. adults–more Democrats than Republicans, and more minorities than non-Hispanic whites–are stressed by the current political environment.
An August 2016 University of California, Berkeley study of 1,836 U.S. counties found an elevated risk of death from heart disease among both black and white residents of high-prejudice counties, with a stronger effect among blacks than whites.
A February 2006 University of Chicago study of birth outcomes among women of multiple racial and ethnic groups in California revealed that, in the six months after 9/11, when hostility against Arab Americans was intense, only among Arab American women was there a pattern of increased risk of low-birthweight babies or preterm births, as compared with the preceding six-month period.

The authors also warned that cuts to health and social services, such as the threatened repeal of the Affordable Care Act, are likely to further exacerbate the health challenges of poor and marginalized populations in the U.S. They reviewed studies that documented increases in infant mortality, preventable childhood diseases, and chronic disease among adults when such cuts were made early in the Reagan administration.

The authors suggested several ways that health care providers can respond if they find postelection “side effects” among their patients. For example, clinicians could directly address their patients’ emotional distress, suggesting psychotherapy or medication; clinicians and health care organizations could take a strong stance against hate crimes, discriminatory political rhetoric, and incivility; and the health care community can advocate for further research, or conduct their own, on potential negative health effects related to elections and the societal climate, as well as on identifying effective interventions to reduce their adverse effects on health.


Preparation of the article was supported by funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Health Effects of Dramatic Social Events – Ramifications of the Recent Presidential Election,” David R. Williams and Morgan Medlock, New England Journal of Medicine, June 8, 2017, doi: 10.1056/NEJMms1702111

Visit the Harvard Chan School website for the latest news, press releases, and multimedia offerings.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives–not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.

27 thoughts on “Political Junk Science: Stress from Trump election to kill minorities, reports New England Journal of Medicine”

  1. I guess this means that Democrats are responsible for killing minorities. They nominated Hillary Clinton using corruption to derail Sanders. Obama must take the blame! He is the leader of Democrat Party Corruption.

  2. Follow up to my earlier comment:
    “For the last several months, the MSM, democratic politicians and “medical experts” have screamed at people as to how bad things are – and they now blame the election for stress?”

    These same people have now driven a man to try and kill US representatives. They are accessories to his death and the shooting of others by him.

  3. Trump’s election has certainly resulted in an epidemic of apoplexy among the media wonks.

  4. For the last several months, the MSM, democratic politicians and “medical experts” have screamed at people as to how bad things are – and they now blame the election for stress?

    You tell anyone every minute of every hour of every day how bad it is, how abused they are, how unfair things will be and how sick they are – and anyone will get depressed or sick. And these “medical” experts are living off the misery they and their friends caused. Hateful people.

  5. The predicted results may come true, however, the mechanism may be the “nocebo effect” where if people believe something will make them sick, it will (all in their head). The nocebo effect is the opposite of placebo effect and is the known mechanism of why witch doctors with their black magic can make people who believe really sick.

    When you add money and lawyers to the nocebo effect you get a growing parasitic industry of convincing people to be sick then they become sick. For example, silicon breast implants, where the lawyer made billions and the women had real symptoms that were based on believing junk science and false science (the witch doctors made money using the nocebo effect). The lawyers paid for the autism and vaccine studies claiming vaccines caused autism and we must wonder how many children will die from this selfish and greedy decisions by the legal community.

  6. They used to be that institutions would teach you HOW to think and not WHAT to think.
    Never was a truer statement made

  7. The study sounds racist, the study implies that minorities can’t handle adversity as well as whites.

  8. So, are they admitting that those on the left cannot handle adversity as well as those on the right? Or is this a case of not caring if these negative result apply to your political rivals should the election have gone the other way? Either way I think the paper says far more about the researchers themselves than about the nation as a whole. . .

  9. TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is a bona fide medical disorder that is impacting the health and welfare of millions of biological adult males and females, commonly known as snowflakes.

    It has been linked to back injuries while lifting and hurling bike racks, laryngitis from repititous shrill cries of “Not my President!”, and severe bouts of clinical anxiety and depression because Hillary (the smartest woman in the world) lost, requiring countless dollars for college campuses to setup safe spaces complete with coloring books, puppies and Play-Doh.

    Electing Hillary would have avoided TDS, associated health costs and avoided countless lost class days all estimated in the bajillions of dollars.

  10. It is becoming more and more unbelievable that these so-called “institutions of higher learning ” can be so biased and liberal and dumb ass. They are trying to make everything fit into their nice neat little opinionated world, and can’t even imagine that somebody would dispute their views just because they are “learned”. They used to be that institutions would teach you HOW to think and not WHAT to think. 🖕👎😡😝

  11. Have you ever wondered how far and how fast humankind would advance if all these so called ‘learning institutions’ got back to core business and gave away all these lefty/greenie so called research projects that at the end of the day can be pretty well summed up as absolute crap – what a shocking waste of resources – bottom line, very poor leadership within the hallowed walls.

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