Prevalence of dementia and depression among elderly people in black and ethnic minorities

McCracken, C. F. M.; Boneham, M. A.; Copeland, J. R. M.; Williams, K. E.; Wilson, K.; Scott, A.; McKibbin, P.; Cleave, N.; McCracken, C F; Copeland, J R
September 1997
British Journal of Psychiatry;Sep97, Vol. 171, p269
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: This study was designed to identify all elderly people of ethnic minorities living in a defined geographical area in inner-city Liverpool and to identify psychiatric morbidity and barriers to use of services. This paper reports the prevalence of dementia and depression.Method: A survey of the community was carried out using the Geriatric Mental State Examination, AGECAT and ethnically matched interviewers. The sampling frame consisted of Family Health Services Authority lists as a basis, with additional information from community lists, 'snow-balling' and a door-to-door survey.Results: 418 people were interviewed, with a high percentage (55%) of young elderly (65-74) men. The prevalence of dementia ranged from 2 to 9% and of depression from 5 to 19%, and there were no significant differences in levels between English-speaking ethnic groups and the indigenous population. Higher levels of dementia were found among non-English-speaking groups.Conclusions: A complete enumeration of the elderly in ethnic minority groups is best achieved by using several different methods. Diagnosis of dementia may be misleading among those who do not speak the dominant language.


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