First perinatal psychiatric episode among refugee and family-reunified immigrant women compared to Danish-born women: a register-based study

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Purpose: This study aimed at examining psychiatric morbidity in the perinatal period among refugees and family-reunified immigrants compared to Danish-born women, including predictors of psychiatric morbidity according to migration history. Methods: Inclusion criteria were women who had a residence permit in Denmark and gave birth to a live child between 1 April 1998 and 31 December 2014. The study included 7804 refugee women, 21,257 family-reunified women, and 245,865 Danish-born women. We estimated Odds Ratios (ORs) of having a first-time perinatal psychiatric episode (PPE) and specific risk for affective, psychotic, and neurotic disorders. Results: Compared with Danish-born women, women family-reunified with immigrants had lower (aOR 0.37, 95% CI 0.22–0.64) and refugees had higher ORs of PPE (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.22–1.76). In fully adjusted models, refugees no longer presented increased risk of PPE (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.95–1.42) but showed higher ORs for psychotic (aOR 4.72, 95% CI 2.18–9.84) and neurotic disorders (aOR 1.31, 95% CI 1.01–1.72). Women family-reunified with refugees and to Nordic citizens had higher ORs of psychotic disorders. Among migrants, refugees had higher ORs of PPE. Conclusions: Results suggest that elevation in risk of PPE among refugees compared to Danish-born may be related to higher likelihood of poverty and single-parenting among refugees. Still, refugees appear to have increased risk for neurotic and psychotic disorders. In contrast, family-reunified to immigrants may have lower risk of PPE. Maternal health programs need to focus on promotion of mental health and tackle social risks that disproportionately affect immigrant women, particularly refugees.

TidsskriftSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
StatusAccepteret/In press - 2021

Bibliografisk note

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© 2021, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

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