Racial variations in major depressive disorder onset among immigrant populations in the United States.

by Sungkyu Lee
Journal of mental health (Abingdon, England) ()


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Considering the heterogeneity within the immigrant population, this study aimed to examine racial variations in major depressive disorder (MDD) onset and the factors associated with it among immigrants in the United States.\n\nMETHODS: Data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys were analyzed. The Kaplan-Meier method was employed to estimate survival functions by race. The Cox proportional hazards model was employed to explore the factors associated with MDD onset after controlling for socio-demographic and immigration-related sample characteristics.\n\nRESULTS: Asians showed the highest survival function, followed by African Americans. A Cox proportional hazards model indicated that those who were younger, female, and non-Asian were more likely to experience an MDD onset than were their older, male, and Asian counterparts. None of the immigration-related characteristics were found to be significantly associated with MDD onset among foreign-born individuals.\n\nCONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study reveal that different racial groups experience different patterns of MDD onset over time. Exploring the factors associated with MDD onset will help mental health providers identify vulnerable subgroups among immigrant populations and, in turn, promote adequate mental health services for them.

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