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Higher rates of psychosis linked to areas with social deprivation

Rates of psychosis can be nearly eight times higher in some areas such as inner cities, according to researchers who say it may be due to social deprivation

Rates of psychosis can be nearly eight times higher in some areas than others, a study shows.

Researchers looked at the incidence of psychotic conditions across 17 areas in six countries the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil.

The teams from University College London, Kings College London and the University of Cambridge found the overall incidence of psychotic conditions to be 21.4 per 100,000 person-years, but discovered wide variations between different areas.

Reasons for variation

In a rural area around Santiago in Spain there was a low incidence of 6.0 per 100,000 person-years, while the figure rose to over 45 per 100,000 in inner-city Paris and south east London.

This variation could not be explained by differences in the age, sex and ethnic composition of the population across these areas.

Lead author Hannah Jongsma said:

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Rates of psychosis can be nearly eight times higher in some areas than others, a study shows.

Researchers looked at the incidence of psychotic conditions across 17 areas in six countries – the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil.

The teams from University College London, King’s College London and the University of Cambridge found the overall incidence of psychotic conditions to be 21.4 per 100,000 person-years, but discovered wide variations between different areas.

Reasons for variation

In a rural area around Santiago in Spain there was a low incidence of 6.0 per 100,000 person-years, while the figure rose to over 45 per 100,000 in inner-city Paris and south east London.

This variation could not be explained by differences in the age, sex and ethnic composition of the population across these areas.

Lead author Hannah Jongsma said: ‘Areas with higher rates of owner-occupied housing have lower rates of psychosis, which may be linked to social deprivation.’


Jongsma, H et al (2017) Treated Incidence of Psychotic Disorders in the Multinational EU-GEI Study. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.3554

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