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Immigrants at Lower Risk of Substance Use, Psychiatric Disorders Than US-Born Counterparts

03-05-2019 02:19 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Physicians Postgraduate Press

Table 2. Lifetime Prevalence of DSM-5 Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders...

Table 2. Lifetime Prevalence of DSM-5 Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders...

Memphis, TN (February 28, 2019) – Today The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders published a study comparing prevalence rates of alcohol, nicotine, and other drug use and major psychiatric disorders between US-born and foreign-born Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites.

Hispanics are the leading ethnic majority in the US, and Mexican Americans constitute 60% of the US Hispanic population. Therefore, focus on this group is timely and important, especially since most of the previous literature in this area, including recently published articles, is based on data that are at least a decade old. An understanding of whether immigration status and age at entry into the US affect the risk of substance use and psychiatric disorders is needed.

This study compared prevalence of alcohol, nicotine, and other drug use and DSM-5 psychiatric disorders among US-born and foreign-born Mexican Americans and US-born and foreign-born non-Hispanic whites, along with direct comparisons between earlier- versus later-arrival of these foreign-born populations. US-born Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites had a greater risk of substance use and psychiatric disorders compared with their foreign-born counterparts. US-born non-Hispanic whites were at even higher risk for both disorders than US-born Mexican Americans. Age also played a role. Foreign-born Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites younger than 18 years of age at immigration were at greater risk of substance use disorders than those 18 years or older at immigration.

An understanding of how immigration status and age at immigration contribute to substance use and psychiatric disorders among these populations can be invaluable to clinicians in guiding screening, prevention, and treatment efforts that are culturally sensitive and informed.

Access the entire article, “Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders Among Mexican Americans and Non-Hispanic Whites by Immigration Status,” by Bradley T. Kerridge, PhD; S. Patricia Chou, PhD; and Roger P. Pickering, MS, at

The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders (PCC) is an international, peer-reviewed, online-only journal, published by Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc. Its mission is to advance the clinical expertise of primary care physicians and other health care professionals who treat patients with mental and neurologic illnesses. PCC is indexed by the National Library of Medicine.

Physicians Postgraduate Press
Post Office Box 752870
Memphis, Tennessee 38175-2870

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