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Research Snapshot: Do first-generation immigrants have a greater risk of mental health disorders?

December 13, 2012

International studies show that immigrants are more at risk of hospitalization for psychosis than native-born populations. But while Canada has the second largest proportion of first-generation immigrants in the world, there are no current Canadian studies on this topic.

Researchers in Toronto recently compared the risk of hospitalization of immigrants to native-born Canadians. In particular, they looked at hospitalization for psychotic disorders and for affective disorders. Psychotic disorders, like schizophrenia, alter a person’s sense of reality, often causing delusions and hallucinations. Affective disorders cause extreme changes in a person’s mood and include depression.

Among the findings: first-generation immigrants in Ontario may be more likely to be admitted for psychotic disorders than native-born people—although this may be due to social status rather than immigrant status. This and other findings from the study can help psychiatric services better meet the mental health needs of the large immigrant populations of Ontario.

To get the full story, check out EENet’s new Research Snapshot of the article, “First-Generation Immigrants and Hospital Admission Rates for Psychosis and Affective Disorders: An Ecological Study in Ontario,” by Anna Durbin, Elizabeth Lin, Lawren Taylor, and Russell C. Callaghan. The article appeared in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 56, no. 7: 418-28. The Snapshot is available here.

Research Snapshots are brief, clear language summaries of research articles, presented in a user-friendly format. To read EENet’s summaries of other articles, visit

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