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Increased first-contact rates for very-late-onset schizophrenia-like psychosis in African- and Caribbean-born elders

  • Suzanne J. Reeves (a1), Justin Sauer (a2), Robert Stewart (a1), Annabel Granger (a2) and Robert J. Howard (a1)...
Abstract
Background

Studies have consistently shown a higher incidence of schizophrenia with onset in early adult life in African and Caribbean migrants to the UK.

Aims

To establish the incidence (first-contact rates) of very-late-onset (>60 years) schizophrenia-like psychosis (SLP) in south London and to test the hypothesis that this is higher among African- and Caribbean-born than indigenous elders.

Method

We identified all new referrals of SLP to the Maudsley Hospital between 1995 and 2000. Demographic details, including age, ethnicity and electoral ward (address), were obtained from case notes. Incidence was estimated using 1997 census data to determine the denominator population for each ethnic group.

Results

The incidence of SLP was significantly higher in African- and Caribbean-born than indigenous elders: 172.4 per 100 000 population (95% Cl=579–286.8) in African- and Caribbean-born males and 323.5 per 100 000 population (95% Cl 167.8–479.1) in African- and Caribbean-born females. Rates also were increased in elders from other immigrant groups, but the numbers involved were too small to reach accepted levels of significance.

Conclusions

Large-scale epidemiological studies are needed to determine both the incidence of and the coexistent risk factors for SLP among all elderly migrants, who may constitute a group with high service needs.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Suzanne Reeves, Institute of Psychiatry, Section of Old Age Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel: 020 7848 0550; fax 020 7701 0167; e-mail: s.reeves@iop.kcl.ac.uk
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Increased first-contact rates for very-late-onset schizophrenia-like psychosis in African- and Caribbean-born elders

  • Suzanne J. Reeves (a1), Justin Sauer (a2), Robert Stewart (a1), Annabel Granger (a2) and Robert J. Howard (a1)...
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