Mood disorders in first- and second-generation immigrants: systematic review and meta-analysis

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Although there are consistent reports of higher psychosis rates among immigrants, the information on mood disorders is limited.


To review and quantify the difference in incidence of mood disorders in first- and second-generation immigrant (FGI and SGI) groups v. non-immigrants.


PubMed, EMBASE and PsycINFO were searched for articles from cohort studies reporting incidence of mood disorders among FGIs and SGIs.


Eighteen studies met our inclusion criteria. The summary relative risk (RR) for FGIs was 1.25 (95% CI 1.11–1.41), based on 17 effect sizes and 6120 cases, and 1.16 (95% CI 0.96–1.40) for SGIs based on three effect sizes. Men seemed at higher risk (RR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.06–1.56).


Clinicians should view FGIs as a group at risk of mood disorders, especially men. Further research is needed to understand immigrants' risk, especially in SGI.

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