Incidence in refugees

What is incidence and how it is relevant to schizophrenia?

Incidence refers to how many new cases there are per population in a specified time period. It is different from prevalence, which refers to how many existing cases there are at a particular point in time. Incidence is usually reported as the number of new cases per 100,000 people per year. Alternatively some studies present the number of new cases that have accumulated over several years against a person-years denominator. This denominator is the sum of individual units of time that the persons in the population are at risk of developing schizophrenia. It takes into account the size of the underlying population sample and its age structure over the duration of observation. Differences in the incidence of a disorder can provide clues to its possible causes. For example, a population register with information gained from consensus data helps to identify all adults who were born within a certain time period (an age cohort) and where they were born. Cross linking this information with a mental health register can be used to identify those who received treatment for schizophrenia over particular times. This can provide information regarding the incidence of schizophrenia within different groups.

What is the evidence for incidence of schizophrenia in refugees?

Moderate quality evidence finds small to medium-sized effects of increased incidence of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in refugee groups after migration (up to 10 years) compared to native-born populations and non-refugee immigrants. The incidence was highest in refugee men and in refugees from the Middle East.

April 2022

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Last updated at: 4:30 pm, 6th April 2022
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Migrants Refugees

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