The incidence of psychotic disorders among migrants and minority ethnic groups in Europe: findings from the multinational EU-GEI study

Fabian Termorshuizen, Els van der Ven, Ilaria Tarricone, Hannah E Jongsma, Charlotte Gayer-Anderson, Antonio Lasalvia, Sarah Tosato, Diego Quattrone, Caterina La Cascia, Andrei Szöke, Domenico Berardi, Pierre-Michel Llorca, Lieuwe de Haan, Eva Velthorst, Miguel Bernardo, Julio Sanjuán, Manuel Arrojo, Robin M Murray, Bart P Rutten, Peter B JonesJim van Os, James B Kirkbride, Craig Morgan, Jean-Paul Selten

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BACKGROUND: In Europe, the incidence of psychotic disorder is high in certain migrant and minority ethnic groups (hence: 'minorities'). However, it is unknown how the incidence pattern for these groups varies within this continent. Our objective was to compare, across sites in France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands, the incidence rates for minorities and the incidence rate ratios (IRRs, minorities v. the local reference population).

METHODS: The European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study was conducted between 2010 and 2015. We analyzed data on incident cases of non-organic psychosis (International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, codes F20-F33) from 13 sites.

RESULTS: The standardized incidence rates for minorities, combined into one category, varied from 12.2 in Valencia to 82.5 per 100 000 in Paris. These rates were generally high at sites with high rates for the reference population, and low at sites with low rates for the reference population. IRRs for minorities (combined into one category) varied from 0.70 (95% CI 0.32-1.53) in Valencia to 2.47 (95% CI 1.66-3.69) in Paris (test for interaction: p = 0.031). At most sites, IRRs were higher for persons from non-Western countries than for those from Western countries, with the highest IRRs for individuals from sub-Saharan Africa (adjusted IRR = 3.23, 95% CI 2.66-3.93).

CONCLUSIONS: Incidence rates vary by region of origin, region of destination and their combination. This suggests that they are strongly influenced by the social context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1376-1385
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological medicine
Issue number7
Early online date22 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Dopamine
  • epidemiology
  • ethnicity
  • migration
  • psychosis
  • race
  • schizophrenia
  • stress


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