Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Migration as a risk factor for schizophrenia: A Danish population-based cohort study

  • Elizabeth Cantor-Graae (a1), Carsten Bøcker Pedersen (a2), Thomas F. Mcneil (a3) and Preben Bo Mortensen (a2)

Abstract

Background

A growing body of evidence suggests that migration is a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia, although the putative mechanism remains obscure.

Aims

To examine immigrant background and history of foreign residence as risk factors for schizophrenia.

Method

Using data from the Danish Civil Registration System, we established a population-based cohort of 2.14 million persons resident in Denmark by their fifteenth birthday. Schizophrenia in cohort members and parental psychiatric disorder were identified by cross-linkage with the Danish Psychiatric Case Register.

Results

The relative risk of developing schizophrenia was 2.45 (95% CI 2.25–2.67) and 1.92 (95% CI 1.74–2.12) among first- and second-generation immigrants respectively, and 1.60 (95% CI 1.25–2.05) among Danes with a history of foreign residence.

Conclusions

Migration confers an increased risk for schizophrenia that is not solely attributable to selection factors and may also be independent of foreign birth.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Migration as a risk factor for schizophrenia: A Danish population-based cohort study
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Migration as a risk factor for schizophrenia: A Danish population-based cohort study
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Migration as a risk factor for schizophrenia: A Danish population-based cohort study
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Elizabeth Cantor-Graae, Department of Community Medicine, Lund University, University Hospital Malmö, Malmö, Sweden S-20502. Tel: +46 40 336504; fax: +46 40 337096; e-mail: elizabeth.cantor-graae@smi.mas.lu.se

Footnotes

Hide All

Declaration of interest

None. Funding listed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes

References

Hide All
Breslow, N. E. (1996) Generalized linear models: checking assumptions and strengthening conclusions. Statistica Applicata, 8, 2341.
Breslow, N. E. & Day, N. E. (1980) Statistical Methods in Cancer Research. Vol. 1: The Analysis of Case–Control Studies. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Breslow, N. E. & Day, N. E. (1987) Statistical Methods in Cancer Research. Vol. 2: The Design and Analysis of Cohort Studies. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Clayton, D. & Hills, M. (1993) Statistical Models in Epidemiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harrison, G., Glazebrook, C., Brewin, J., et al (1997) Increased incidence of psychotic disorders in migrants from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom. Psychological Medicine, 27, 799806.
King, M., Coker, E., Leavey, G., et al (1994) Incidence of psychotic illness in London: comparison of ethnic groups. BMJ, 309, 11151119.
Malig, C. (1996) The Civil Registration System in Denmark. International Institute for Vital Registration and Statistics Technical Paper, no. 66. Bethesda, MD: IIVRS.
Mortensen, P. B., Cantor-Graae, E. & McNeil, T. F. (1997) Increased rates of schizophrenia among immigrants: some methodological concerns raised by Danish findings. Psychological Medicine, 27, 813820.
Mortensen, P. B., Pedersen, C. B., Westergaard, T., et al (1999) Effects of family history and place and season of birth on the risk of schizophrenia. New England Journal of Medicine, 340, 603608.
Munk-J⊘rgensen, P. (1995) Faldende f⊘rstegangsindæggelsesrater for skizofreni i Danmark 1970–1991 [Decreasing first-admission rates in schizophrenia in Denmark 1970–1991] (Dissertation). Aarhus: Department of Psychiatric Demography, University of Aarhus.
Munk-J⊘rgensen, P. & Mortensen, P. B. (1997) The Danish Psychiatric Central Register. Danish Medical Bulletin, 44, 8284.
Murray, R. M. & Hutchinson, G. (1999) Psychosis in migrants: the striking example of African–Caribbeans resident in England. In Search for the Causes of Schizophrenia (vol. iv) (eds Gattaz, W. F. & Häfner, H.), pp. 129140. Berlin: Springer.
Pedersen, C. B. & Mortensen, P. B. (2001a) Family history, place and season of birth as risk factors for schizophrenia in Denmark: a replication and reanalysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 4652.
Pedersen, C. B. & Mortensen, P. B. (2001b) Evidence of a dose–response relationship between urbanicity during upbringing and schizophrenia risk. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, 10391046.
SAS Institute (1999) The GENMOD procedure. In SAS/STAT User's Guide Version 8, pp. 13651464. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.
Selten, J. P., Slaets, J. P. J. & Kahn, R. (1997) Schizophrenia in Surinamese and Dutch Antillean immigrants to The Netherlands: evidence of an increased incidence. Psychological Medicine, 27, 807811.
Selten, J. P., Veen, N., Feller, W., et al (2001) Incidence of psychotic disorders in immigrant groups to The Netherlands. British Journal of Psychiatry, 178, 367372.
Selten, J. P., Cantor-Graae, E., Slaets, J., et al (2002) Ödegaard's selection hypothesis revisited: schizophrenia in Surinamese immigrants to The Netherlands. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 669671.
Sharpley, M., Hutchinson, G., McKenzie, K., et al (2001) Understanding the excess of psychosis among the African–Caribbean population in England. Review of current hypotheses. British Journal of Psychiatry, 178 (suppl. 40), s60s68.
World Health Organization (1967) Manual of the International Classification of Diseases, Eighth Revision (ICD–8). Geneva: WHO.
World Health Organization (1992) Manual of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD–10). Geneva: WHO.
Zolkowska, K., Cantor-Graae, E. & McNeil, T. F. (2001) Increased rates of psychosis among immigrants to Sweden: is migration a risk factor for psychosis? Psychological Medicine, 31, 669678.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Migration as a risk factor for schizophrenia: A Danish population-based cohort study

  • Elizabeth Cantor-Graae (a1), Carsten Bøcker Pedersen (a2), Thomas F. Mcneil (a3) and Preben Bo Mortensen (a2)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.