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Br J Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;182:117-22.

Migration as a risk factor for schizophrenia: a Danish population-based cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Lund University, Malmö, Sweden. elizabeth.cantor-graae@smi.mas.lu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A growing body of evidence suggests that migration is a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia, although the putative mechanism remains obscure.

AIMS:

To examine immigrant background and history of foreign residence as risk factors for schizophrenia.

METHOD:

Using data from the Danish Civil Registration System, we established a population-based cohort of 2.14 million persons resident in Denmark by their fifteenth birthday. Schizophrenia in cohort members and parental psychiatric disorder were identified by cross-linkage with the Danish Psychiatric Case Register.

RESULTS:

The relative risk of developing schizophrenia was 2.45 (95% Cl 2.25-2.67) and 1.92 (95% Cl 1.74-2.12) among first- and second-generation immigrants respectively, and 1.60 (95% Cl 1.25-2.05) among Danes with a history of foreign residence.

CONCLUSIONS:

Migration confers an increased risk for schizophrenia that is not solely attributable to selection factors and may also be independent of foreign birth.

PMID:
12562738
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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