Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Increased rate of psychosis among African–Caribbeans in Britain is not due to an excess of pregnancy and birth complications

  • G. Hutchinson (a1), N. Takei (a1), D. Bhugra (a2), T. A. Fahy (a3), C. Gilvarry (a3), R. Mallett (a2), P. Moran (a4), J. Leff (a2) and R. M. Murray (a1)...

Abstract

Background

It has been suggested that the increased rate of psychotic illness among African–Caribbeans living in Britain is due to an excess of pregnancy and birth complications (PBCs).

Method

We therefore compared the frequency of PBCs in a group of White psychotic patients (n=103) and a comparable group of patients of African–Caribbean origin (n=61); the latter consisted of 30 first-generation (born in the Caribbean) and 31 second-generation (born in Britain) individuals.

Results

White psychotic patients were more than twice as likely to have a history of PBCs as their African–Caribbean counterparts (odds ratio=2.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88–6.47, P=0.062). The same trend was observed among patients with a DSM–III diagnosis of schizophrenia (odds ratio=l.65, 95% CI 0.56–4.97, P=0.32). The rate of PBCs was similar among the first- and second-generation Caribbean psychotic patients.

Conclusions

The increased rate of psychotic illness that has been reported among the African–Caribbean population in Britain is not due to an increased prevalence of PBCs.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Professor R. M. Murray, Department of Psychological Medicine and the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry and King's College School of Medicine, De Crespigny Park. Denmark Hill. London SE5 8AF

References

Hide All
Adelstein, A. M. & Marmot, M. G. (1989) The health of migrants in England and Wales: causes of death. In Ethnic Factors in Health and Disease (eds Beevers, D. G. & Cruikshank, J. K.). Guildford: Wright.
American Psychiatric Association (1980) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn) (DSM–III). Washington. DC: APA.
Andreasen, N. C., Endicott, J., Spitzer, R. L. & Winokur, G. (1977) The family history method using diagnostic criteria: reliability and validity. Archives of General Psychiatry, 34, 12291235.
Eagles, J. M. (1991) The relationship between schizophrenia and immigration: are there alternatives to psychosocial hypotheses? British Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 783789.
Griffiths, R., White, M. & Stonehouse, M. (1989) Ethnic differences in birth statistics from central Birmingham. British Medical Journal, 298, 9495.
Harrison, G., Owens, D., Holton, A., et al (1988) A prospective study of severe mental disorder in Afro-Caribbean patients. Psychological Medicine, 18, 643657.
Hutchinson, G., Takei, N., Fahy, T. A., et al (1996) Morbid risk for schizophrenia in African–Caribbean and white psychotic patients. British Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 776780.
Jones, P. B., Bebbington, P., Foerster, A., et al (1993) Premorbid social underachievement in schizophrenia: results from the Camberwell Collaborative Study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 6571.
Lewis, S. W., Owen, M. J. & Murray, R. M. (1989) Obstetric complications and schizophrenia: methodology and mechanisms. In Schizophrenia: Scientific Progress (eds S. C. Schulz & C. A. Tamminga), pp. 5668. New York: Oxford University Press.
McGrath, J. & Murray, R. M. (1995) Risk factors for schizophrenia: from conception to birth. In Schizophrenia (eds S. Hirsch & D. Weinberger), pp. 187205. Oxford: Blackwell.
McGuffin, P., Farmer, A. & Harvey, I. (1991) A polydiagnostic application of operational criteria in studies of psychotic illness: development and reliability of the OPCRIT system. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 764770.
McNeil, T. F. (1995) Perinatal risk factors and schizophrenia: selective review and methodological concerns. Epidemiologic Review, 17, 107112.
Nimgaonkar, V., Wessely, S. & Murray, R. M. (1988) Prevalence of familiality, obstetric complications and structural brain damage in schizophrenic patients. British Journal of Psychiatry, 153, 191197.
Pan American Health Organization (1990) Health in the Americas. Washington, DC: PAHO.
Parsons, L., MacFariane, A. & Golding, J. (1993) Pregnancy, birth and maternity care. In Race and Health in Contemporary Britain (ed. W I. U. Ahmad), pp. 5175. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Terry, P. B., Condre, R. G., Bissenden, J. G., et al (1987) Ethnic differences in incidence of very low birthweight and neonatal deaths among normally formed infants. Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 62, 709711.
Wessely, S., Castle, D., Der, G., et al (1991) Schizophrenia and Afro-Caribbeans: a case control study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 795801.
Wing, J., Cooper, J. E. & Sartorius, N. (1974) The Measurement and Classification of Psychiatric Symptoms. London: Cambridge University Press.

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Increased rate of psychosis among African–Caribbeans in Britain is not due to an excess of pregnancy and birth complications

  • G. Hutchinson (a1), N. Takei (a1), D. Bhugra (a2), T. A. Fahy (a3), C. Gilvarry (a3), R. Mallett (a2), P. Moran (a4), J. Leff (a2) and R. M. Murray (a1)...
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *