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Br J Psychiatry. 2008 Jul;193(1):18-24. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.041566.

Psychoses, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

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University Department of Psychiatry, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge, UK.



Consistent observation of raised rates of psychoses among Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups may possibly be explained by their lower socio-economic status.


To test whether risk for psychoses remained elevated in BME populations compared with the White British, after adjustment for age, gender and current socio-economic status.


Population-based study of first-episode DSM-IV psychotic disorders, in individuals aged 18-64 years, in East London over 2 years.


All BME groups had elevated rates of a psychotic disorder after adjustment for age, gender and socio-economic status. For schizophrenia, risk was elevated for people of Black Caribbean (incidence rate ratios (IRR)=3.1, 95% CI 2.1-4.5) and Black African (IRR=2.6, 95% CI 1.8-3.8) origin, and for Pakistani (IRR=3.1, 95% CI 1.2-8.1) and Bangladeshi (IRR=2.3, 95% CI 1.1-4.7) women. Mixed White and Black Caribbean (IRR=7.7, 95% CI 3.2-18.8) and White Other (IRR=2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.8) groups had elevated rates of affective psychoses (and other non-affective psychoses).


Elevated rates of psychoses in BME groups could not be explained by socio-economic status, even though current socio-economic status may have overestimated the effect of this confounder given potential misclassification as a result of downward social drift in the prodromal phase of psychosis. Our findings extended to all BME groups and psychotic disorders, though heterogeneity remains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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