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Age, ethnicity, and mental illness: a triple whammy

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 30 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1347
  1. Greta Rait,
  2. Alistair Burns,
  3. Carolyn Chew
  1. Clinical research fellow Professor of old age psychiatry University Department of Old Age Psychiatry, Withington Hospital, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 8LR
  2. Senior lecturer University Department of General Practice, University of Manchester, Manchester M14 5NP

    We need validated assessment instruments for specific communities

    A major public health issue for the next century is the increase in the number of elderly people from ethnic minority groups. The large numbers in the 40–64 year old cohort will soon be in the over 65 group, which is traditionally associated with particular health, social, and economic needs.1 2 3 Attention has tended to be focused on the physical health of these groups,4 and this, together with the traditional stigma of mental illness, has led to relative neglect of the mental health of older people from ethnic minorities.

    Up to 15% of elderly people are known to suffer from depressive symptoms, of whom …

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