189391 Ethnic Minority Elderly and the Prevalence of Psychiatric Illnesses

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:24 PM

Daniel E. Jimenez, PhD , Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Lebanon, NH
Margarita Alegria, PhD , Psychiatry--Center for Multicultural MH Research, Harvard Medical School, Somerville, MA
Chih-nan Chen, PhD , Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Cambridge Health Alliance, Somerville, MA
Very little research has focused on current estimates of various psychiatric disorders in older ethnic minority adults. The goal of this paper is to compare lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders among a national sample of older (ages 50 and older) Latinos, Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, and compared their rates to those of non-Latino Whites. This paper takes advantage of the pooled data from the NIMH Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiological Studies, the most current and comprehensive national data source available that can be used to study prevalence rates of mental illness among older adults across racial/ethnic minority groups. Significant ethnic group differences were found across several sociodemographic variables (income education, and English proficiency). Non-Latino Whites and Latinos had higher lifetime prevalence rates than the other three groups with the exception of panic disorder, PTSD, or any of the substance use disorders. African-Americans had the highest rates of substance use. Pairwise comparisons provide a better illustration of these results. Exploratory analyses explored lifetime and 12-month prevalence estimates for non-Latino White, Latino, Asian-American, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean respondents stratified by nativity. Results of this study are inconsistent with the findings in previous studies. Consistent is that the non-Latino Whites have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse than Asian-Americans, and African-Americans but higher prevalence rates of substance use compared to older non-Latino Whites. Inconsistent with previous work is the comparison between the older Latinos and the non-Latino Whites. Reasons include time in the US and age of migration.

Learning Objectives:
Identify prevalence rates of certain psychiatric illnesses in the ethnic minority elderly population Discuss the effect migration has on the prevalence rates of psychiatric illnesses Articulate the needs of the ethnic minority elderly

Keywords: Latino Mental Health, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I led the analysis for this paper and am an expert on Latino mental health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.