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Risk of schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and bipolar disorders by migrant status, region of origin, and age-at-migration: a national cohort study of 1.8 million people

  • Jennifer Dykxhoorn (a1), Anna-Clara Hollander (a2), Glyn Lewis (a1), Cecelia Magnusson (a2) (a3), Christina Dalman (a2) (a3) and James B Kirkbride (a1)...
Abstract
Background

We assessed whether the risk of various psychotic disorders and non-psychotic bipolar disorder (including mania) varied by migrant status, a region of origin, or age-at-migration, hypothesizing that risk would only be elevated for psychotic disorders.

Methods

We established a prospective cohort of 1 796 257 Swedish residents born between 1982 and 1996, followed from their 15th birthday, or immigration to Sweden after age 15, until diagnosis, emigration, death, or end of 2011. Cox proportional hazards models were used to model hazard ratios by migration-related factors, adjusted for covariates.

Results

All psychotic disorders were elevated among migrants and their children compared with Swedish-born individuals, including schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]migrants: 2.20, 95% CI 1.96–2.47; aHRchildren : 2.00, 95% CI 1.79–2.25), affective psychotic disorders (aHRmigrant1.42, 95% CI 1.25–1.63; aHRchildren: 1.22 95% CI 1.07–1.40), and other non-affective psychotic disorders (aHRmigrant: 1.97, 95% CI 1.81–2.14; aHRchildren: 1.68, 95% CI 1.54–1.83). For all psychotic disorders, risks were generally highest in migrants from Africa (i.e. aHRschizophrenia: 5.24, 95% CI 4.26–6.45) and elevated at most ages-of-migration. By contrast, risk of non-psychotic bipolar disorders was lower for migrants (aHR: 0.58, 95% CI 0.52–0.64) overall, and across all ages-of-migration except infancy (aHR: 1.20; 95% CI 1.01–1.42), while risk for their children was similar to the Swedish-born population (aHR: 1.00, 95% CI 0.93–1.08).

Conclusions

Increased risk of psychiatric disorders associated with migration and minority status may be specific to psychotic disorders, with exact risk dependent on the region of origin.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Jennifer Dykxhoorn, E-mail: jennifer.dykxhoorn.15@ucl.ac.uk
References
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