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Mental disorders are associated with an elevated risk for suicide attempt and suicide. Whether the strength of the associations also holds for refugees is unclear.
To examine the relationship between specific mental disorders and suicide attempt and suicide in refugees and Swedish-born individuals.
This longitudinal cohort study included 5 083 447 individuals aged 16–64 years, residing in Sweden in 2004, where 196 757 were refugees. Mental disorders were defined as having a diagnosis in psychiatric care during 2000–2004. Estimates of risk of suicide attempt and suicide were calculated as hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Adjustments were made for important confounding factors, including history of attempt. The reference group comprised Swedish-born individuals without mental disorders.
Rates for suicide attempt in individuals with a mental disorder were lower in refugees compared with Swedish-born individuals (480 v. 850 per 100 000 person-years, respectively). This pattern was true for most specific disorders: compared with the reference group, among refugees, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for suicide attempt ranged from 3.0 (anxiety) to 7.4 (substance misuse), and among Swedish-born individuals, from 4.9 (stress-related disorder) to 9.3 (substance misuse). For schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and personality disorder, estimates for suicide attempt were comparable between refugees and Swedish-born individuals. Similar patterns were seen for suicide.
For most mental disorders, refugees were less likely to be admitted to hospital for suicide attempt or die by suicide compared with Swedish-born individuals. Further research on risk and protective factors for suicide attempt and suicide among refugees with mental disorders is warranted.
The impact of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) on objective indicators of labour market marginalisation has not been quantified.
Linking various Swedish national registers, we estimated the risk of three labour market marginalisation outcomes (receipt of newly granted disability pension, long-term sickness absence and long-term unemployment) in individuals diagnosed with OCD between 2001 and 2013 who were between 16 and 64 years old at the date of the first OCD diagnosis (n = 16 267), compared with matched general population controls (n = 157 176). Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using Cox regression models, adjusting for a number of covariates (e.g. somatic disorders) and stratifying by sex. To adjust for potential familial confounders, we further analysed data from 7905 families that included full siblings discordant for OCD.
Patients were more likely to receive at least one outcome of interest [adjusted HR = 3.63 (95% CI 3.53–3.74)], including disability pension [adjusted HR = 16.36 (95% CI 15.34–17.45)], being on long-term sickness absence [adjusted HR = 3.07 (95% CI 2.95–3.19)] and being on long-term unemployment [adjusted HR = 1.72 (95% CI 1.63–1.82)]. Results remained similar in the adjusted sibling comparison models. Exclusion of comorbid psychiatric disorders had a minimal impact on the results.
Help-seeking individuals with OCD diagnosed in specialist care experience marked difficulties to participate in the labour market. The findings emphasise the need for cooperation between policy-makers, vocational rehabilitation and mental health services in order to design and implement specific strategies aimed at improving the patients’ participation in the labour market.
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