Prevalence of Psychiatric Illnesses in Older Ethnic Minority Adults
Article first published online: 26 JAN 2010
© 2010, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2010, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 58, Issue 2, pages 256–264, February 2010
How to Cite
Jimenez, D. E., Alegría, M., Chen, C.-n., Chan, D. and Laderman, M. (2010), Prevalence of Psychiatric Illnesses in Older Ethnic Minority Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58: 256–264. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02685.x
- Issue published online: 27 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 26 JAN 2010
- psychiatric illness;
- older adults
OBJECTIVES: To compare lifetime and 12-month prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a nationally representative sample of older Latino, Asian, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean adults with that of older non-Latino white adults.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study conducted in 2001 through 2004.
SETTING: Urban and rural households in the contiguous United States.
PARTICIPANTS: Two thousand three hundred seventy-five community-dwelling residents aged 60 and older living in noninstitutional settings. Data are from the National Institutes of Mental Health Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiological Studies.
METHODS: The World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed lifetime and 12-month psychiatric disorders. Bayesian estimates compared psychiatric disorder prevalence rates of ethnic and racial groups.
RESULTS: Older non-Latino whites exhibited a greater prevalence on several lifetime diagnoses than older Asian, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean respondents. Older Latinos did not differ from older non-Latino whites on any lifetime diagnosis and had higher 12-month rates of any depressive disorder. No differences were observed in the 12-month diagnoses between older non-Latino whites and the other racial and ethnic minority groups. Older immigrant Latinos had higher lifetime rates of dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) than U.S.-born Latinos. Older immigrant Asians had higher lifetime rates of GAD than U.S.-born Asians. Older immigrant Latinos had higher 12-month rates of dysthymia than older U.S.-born Latinos.
CONCLUSION: Caution should be taken when generalizing the protective effects of ethnicity into old age. Older Asians and African-Americans exhibited lower prevalence rates of some psychiatric disorders, whereas older Latinos exhibited rates equal to those of older non-Latino whites. Also, the protective effect of nativity seems to vary according to age, psychiatric disorder, and ethnicity.