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Origin and schizophrenia in young refugees and inter-country adoptees from Latin America and East Africa in Sweden: a comparative study

  • Hélio Manhica (a1), Anna-Clara Hollander (a2), Ylva B. Almquist (a1), Mikael Rostila (a1) and Anders Hjern (a3)...
Abstract
Background

Migrants' socioeconomic adversity has been linked to schizophrenia.

Aims

To investigate whether the more favourable socioeconomic situation of adoptees prevents them from the high risk of schizophrenia found in other migrants.

Method

Register study in a cohort of refugees and inter-country adoptees aged 16–40 years, born in East Africa (n=8389), Latin America (n=11 572) and 1.2 million native Swedes. Cox-regression models estimated hazard ratios (HRs) of schizophrenia in data from psychiatric care.

Results

Despite diverse income levels, HRs for schizophrenia were similar for refugees and adoptees, with East Africans having the highest HRs: 5.83 (3.30–10.27) and 5.80 (5.03–6.70), followed by Latin Americans: HRs 3.09 (2.49–3.83) and 2.31 (1.79–2.97), compared with native Swedes. Adjustment for income decreased these risks slightly for refugees, but not for adoptees.

Conclusions

This study suggests that risk factors associated with origin are more important determinants of schizophrenia than socioeconomic adversity in the country of settlement.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Corresponding author
Hélio Manhica, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University/Karolinska Institutet, Sveavägen 160, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: helio.manhica@chess.su.se
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Origin and schizophrenia in young refugees and inter-country adoptees from Latin America and East Africa in Sweden: a comparative study

  • Hélio Manhica (a1), Anna-Clara Hollander (a2), Ylva B. Almquist (a1), Mikael Rostila (a1) and Anders Hjern (a3)...
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