BACKGROUND Afro-Caribbean immigrants are reported to have a high rate of schizophrenia compared with other population groups.
METHOD In a prospective first contact study of schizophrenia in Jamaica in 1992, 335 patients were examined using the Present State Examination.
RESULTS 285 patients were evaluated as having a PSE 'restrictive' S+ diagnosis of schizophrenia, and 32 as having a 'broad' S?, P, or O diagnosis of schizophrenia. With a population of 2.46 million, this represents a first-contact incidence rate for 'restrictive' schizophrenia of 1.16 per 10,000 population, and an age-corrected (15-54) incidence rate of 2.09 per 10,000.
CONCLUSION Incidence rates for schizophrenia in Jamaica are lower than those reported in Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the UK and Holland, and within the reported range for other population groups worldwide.