Ethnicity important factor in substance use, mood and anxiety disorders

By Lunar Loops · Jun 20, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This report makes no mention of socio-economic factors. I don't find the results particularly surprising, but what about root causes? Anyone have access to the full report (link at bottom) without having to pay £15 / $25 for the privilige?

    This from ( :

    19 June 2006

    Ethnic differences appear to influence the prevalence of substance use, mood, and anxiety disorders, suggest study findings published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

    "The variation in co-morbidity of these specific disorders among race/ethnic groups, which was unavailable before, highlights the importance of detailed race/ethnic information that might help guide future research on etiology and the development of culturally sensitive prevention and treatment programs," say Sharon Smith and colleagues from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

    The researchers analyzed data from a survey of 43,093 US adults aged 18 years and older. The prevalences and associations of major mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders were examined and compared across five ethnic groups – Asian, Native American, White, Black, and Hispanic.

    Twelve-month rates of most mood, anxiety and substance use disorders tended to be greatest among Native Americans and lowest among Asian individuals.

    Compared with White individuals, rates of alcohol and drug dependence, major depression, dysthymia, and panic disorder without agoraphobia were significantly higher among Native Americans.

    The prevalence of most, if not all current substance use, mood, and anxiety disorders was significantly greater among Native Americans compared with Black individuals, Asians, and Hispanic participants.

    Hispanic people showed significantly higher rates of alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug dependence, panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, and specific phobia than Asian individuals.

    From the findings, Smith et al comment that "information on psychiatric disorders among Native Americans is scarce and special attention to the mental health needs of this group appears warranted."

    For most ethnic groups, alcohol and drug dependence, but not abuse, was significantly associated with mood disorders, but, with few exceptions, alcohol and drug abuse did not appear to be linked to anxiety disorders.

    In contrast, alcohol dependence was associated with most anxiety disorders among White, Black and Asian individuals, but not among Native Americans.

    The investigators acknowledge that further work is needed to determine the reasons for the differences across ethnic groups.

    Nevertheless, they say that their findings provide information that "is critical to the planning of local and national mental health services and the design of prevention and intervention programs targeted at high-risk subgroups."

    Source: Psychol Med 2006; 36: 987–998

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  1. Nature Boy
    This sort of report is unreasonably general, unscientific and dangerous in my opinion. It only seems to draw racial boundaries if anything. There's no scientific way to prove any of this physiologically so they're trying to come up with hard conclusions based on social circumstances i.e. they're drawing a bad picture of the less well off.

    Everyone knows Native Americans have had all their rights, freedoms and privileges stripped off them, their heritage shamed and their land taken away. It's no surprise then that they fall under this "depression" stereotype under the very loose confines of this study.

    I think it's absolute bullshit to be perfectly honest.
  2. Nagognog2
    Without taking the racist socio-economics at play in the USA - such a report only compounds the problem. Such as Native Americans have rocks and bottles thrown at them if they set foot into the local towns, and are arrested by fat, racist cops at every turn of the road. Ditto for other minority groups.

    Then along comes Dr. Diddlepud to announce that these people are likely to use drugs more than the white ruling class. I'd like to see these so-called "researchers" get scalped.
  3. Lunar Loops
    Well said. Same old story of drawing the conclusion you want to see from a fatally flawed study.
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