Higher rates of non-affective psychosis may be related to syndemic effects for UK minority populations

The syndemic can be defined as an aggregation of two or more diseases and other health conditions among a population, as initially conceptualized by medical philanthropist Merrill Singer, which exacerbates the negative health effects of … the diseases. This research sought to explain racial disparity in psychological interactions based on the individual risk factors and drawbacks of Jeremy Coid, MD, emeritus professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Queen Mary University, London, UK.

Researchers performed a transversal survey of 3,725 British men aged 18 to 34 years, which included a regional and Hackney over-sampling of ethnic black and minority populations. The Psychosis Screening Questionnaire was tested in 19 areas, including sexual health, substance dependence, mental illness, and crime / criminal activity. Psychiatric history was assessed, along with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Logistic regression and confirmatory factor analysis were included in quantitative analyses.

Black and South Asian men were more likely to live in areas marked by poverty in several regions compared to white men in general populations. Overall, black men reported psychotic symptoms more often at the national level, even though the outcome was not after social adjustment.

There have been reports of positive interactions between risky sexual behavior and aggression/crime concerning depression and anxiety in the syndemic model developed by the investigators.

They also noticed a syndemic effect on psychotic experiences and anxiety between substance dependence and sexual health. In the national survey, scores for general syndemic factor for black and white men were noticeably different, however, scores were significantly higher for all Hackney groups than for white men nationally.

The researchers noted that community and social status alleviated ethnic disparities, a finding that correlates to the results found in US research. Psychotic symptoms have been decreased. The research results illustrated psychotic events, depression, dependency on drugs, risky sexual activities and crime/violence.

To prevent and control public mental health, the researchers wrote that the powers that originally defined and now bind certain components are not just syndemic components.