Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Immigration and psychosis

There has long been known to be a link between immigration and psychosis. Researchers from St Bartholomew's Hospital, London studied 484 people in three inner-city East London boroughs who first developed psychoses between 1996 and 2000. The participants, aged 18-64 were asked about their ethnicity, their place of birth and the place where their parents were born and were then divided into six ethnic groups: white British, white other, black Caribbean, black African, Asian (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi) and 'other'. All the groups, apart from the white British one, had a raised incidence of psychosis but there were differences in how first- and second-generation immigrants fared between different ethnic groups. Black Caribbean second-generation immigrants were at higher risk than first-generation immigrants. Asian women of both generations were at a higher risk compared to white British people but Asian men did not suffer from an increased risk. The discrimination, isolation and alienation experienced by immigrants are all thought to be risk factors for psychosis.

You can find out more about this research at

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