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Poorer mental health for black Caribbeans

BOSTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The longer Caribbean immigrants who are black stay in the United States, the poorer their mental health, according to a study.

Six percent of the U.S. black population is foreign-born and 10 percent is of foreign ancestry, but of all black immigrants, black Caribbeans are the largest subgroup, making up 4.4 percent of the U.S. black population.

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Prior research has shown that black Caribbean immigrants differ from African-Americans in various measures of physical health, but little research has been done on differences in mental health.

Lead author David R. Williams of the Harvard School of Public Health found that black men of Caribbean ancestry had higher current rates of mood and anxiety disorders than African-American men. However, women of Caribbean ancestry had lower current and lifetime rates than African-American women.

Another finding was that third-generation black Caribbean immigrant men and women had the highest rates of disorders among all the subgroups, according to the study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

"What we found was that ethnicity matters a lot in the black population in the United States for mental health risk," said Williams.

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