|Volume No. 1 Issue No. 89 - Monday January 29, 2007
|Caribbean Migrants Face Health Risks |
Reprinted from the BBC Caribbean Report
A new study suggests that black Caribbean Black men in the US have higher risks for psychiatric disorders than African-American males.
The study also indicates that the longer Caribbean immigrants stay in the US, the poorer their mental health becomes.
The research examined the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among Black individuals in the U.S.
The results appear in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
The lead author of the study was David Williams, a St. Lucian-born professor in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.
He said that Caribbean immigrants generally do better in health than US-born counterparts of Caribbean ancestry.
Williams told BBC Caribbean: "But as years in the United States increase, their health gets worse."
It didn't get any better for their children and grandchildren.
"In fact the single most disadvantaged group in our study would be third generation Caribbean immigrants where nearly half of them meet criteria for a major psychiatric disorder at some point in their lifetime."
Williams said researchers would have to follow-up whether this was caused by the exposure to "blatant and insidious racism" and other stresses linked to acculturation and assimilation.
The researchers found that Black men of Caribbean ancestry had higher current rates of mood and anxiety disorders than African American men.
Women of Caribbean ancestry, however, had lower current and lifetime rates than African American women.
The researchers examined data from the National Study of American Life, the largest study of mental health among Blacks in the US.
Six percent of the US Black population is foreign-born and 10% is of foreign ancestry.