Author(s): Livingston G, Leavey G, Kitchen G, Manela M, Sembhi S,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In the UK, 6\% of those aged 65 years and over were born abroad, most of whom now live in inner-city areas. It has been suggested that ethnic elders are particularly vulnerable to mental illness. AIMS: To compare the prevalence of dementia and depression in older migrants with those born in the UK. METHOD: A cross-sectional community study of 1085 people aged 65 years or older in an inner-London borough. RESULTS: Compared with those born in the UK, the prevalence of dementia was raised in African-Caribbeans (17.3\%, relative risk=1.72, Cl=1.06-2.81) and lower for the Irish-born (3.6\%, relative risk=0.36, Cl=0.17-0.87). All those of African-Caribbean country of birth were significantly younger (P=0.000) but no more likely to be taking antihypertensive drugs. They were no more likely to report having cardiovascular problems but had increased rates of diabetes (P<0.0000). The overall prevalence of depression was 18.3\% (95\% Cl=16.1-20.7). The highest prevalence rate was found among those born in Greece and Turkey (27.2\%, Cl=17.9-39.6). Migration per se does not appear to be a risk for depression and dementia in this population. CONCLUSIONS: The excess of dementia may be of vascular aetiology. There is the potential for primary or secondary prevention.
This article was published in Br J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research