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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)...



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).


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.


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.


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.


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


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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)...
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