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A review of the epidemiological literature on the health of UK-born black caribbeans

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  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine


A review of the epidemiological literature on the health of UK-born Black Caribbeans was undertaken. Forty-three papers were found; around half of these were on the incidence of schizophrenia and psychotic conditions in this population. A small number were on autoimmune disorders, sexual health, diet and alcohol intake and children's health. Although there are many methodological limitations with the research on schizophrenia and psychotic conditions, the findings are consistent in that UK-born Black Caribbeans are more likely to be diagnosed with these conditions than Whites, and possibly more so than migrant Black Caribbeans. Poorer sexual health and the high prevalence of some specific autoimmune conditions, such as human T-cell lymphoma/leukaemia (HTLV-1), were also consistent features in the research evidence. The findings from these studies suggest a transmission of risk of these conditions across generations, and that environmental factors, rather than genetic susceptibility, play a major role in outcomes. There was a lack of research investigating generational shifts in risks for major conditions, such as coronary heart disease, lung or breast cancer.

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