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1.  Psychosis incidence through the prism of early intervention services 
The British Journal of Psychiatry  2012;200(2):156-157.
We know little about first-episode psychosis epidemiology beyond cities or when measured through early intervention in psychosis services. We present results from 18 months of the 3-year Social Epidemiology of Psychoses in East Anglia (SEPEA) study of incepted incidence observed through five early intervention services. We identified 378 eligible individuals (incidence: 45.1/100 000 person-years, 95% CI 40.8–49.9). Rates varied across these services, but were 2–3 times higher than those on which services were commissioned. Risk decreased with age, was nearly doubled among men and differed by ethnic group; doubled in people of mixed ethnicity but lower for those of Asian origin, compared with White British people. Psychosis risk among ethnic minorities was lower than reported in urban settings, which has potential implications for aetiology. Our data suggest considerable psychosis morbidity in diverse, rural communities.
PMCID: PMC3269652  PMID: 22194181
2.  Is the incidence of psychotic disorder in decline? Epidemiological evidence from two decades of research 
Background It is unclear whether the incidence of first episode psychoses is in decline. We had the opportunity to determine whether incidence had changed over a 20-year period in a single setting, and test whether this could be explained by demographic or clinical changes.
Methods The entire population at-risk aged 16–54 in Nottingham over three time periods (1978–80, 1993–95 and 1997–99) were followed up. All participants presenting with an ICD-9/10 first episode psychosis were included. The remainder of the population at-risk formed the denominator. Standardized incidence rates were calculated at each time period with possible change over time assessed via Poisson regression. We studied six outcomes: substance-induced psychoses, schizophrenia, other non-affective psychoses, manic psychoses, depressive psychoses and all psychotic disorders combined.
Results Three hundred and forty-seven participants with a first episode psychosis during 1.2 million person-years of follow-up over three time periods were identified. The incidence of non-affective or affective psychoses had not changed over time following standardization for age, sex and ethnicity. We observed a linear increase in the incidence of substance-induced psychosis, per annum, over time (incidence rate ratios: 1.15; 95% CI 1.05–1.25). This could not be explained by longitudinal changes in the age, sex and ethnic structure of the population at-risk.
Conclusions Our findings suggest psychotic disorders are not in decline, though there has been a change in the syndromal presentation of non-affective disorders, away from schizophrenia towards other non-affective psychoses. The incidence of substance-induced psychosis has increased, consistent with increases in substance toxicity over time, rather than changes in the prevalence or vulnerability to substance misuse. Increased clinical and popular awareness of substance misuse could also not be excluded.
PMCID: PMC3307031  PMID: 18725359
Psychotic disorder; incidence; time; epidemiology; schizophrenia; demographic factors
3.  Examining evidence for neighbourhood variation in the duration of untreated psychosis 
Health & Place  2010;16(2):219-225.
Family involvement in help-seeking is associated with a shorter duration of untreated psychoses [DUP], but it is unknown whether neighbourhood-level factors are also important.
DUP was estimated for all cases of first-episode psychoses identified over 2 years in 33 Southeast London neighbourhoods (n=329). DUP was positively skewed and transformed to the natural logarithm scale. We fitted various hierarchical models, adopting different assumptions with regard to spatial variability of DUP, to assess whether there was evidence of neighbourhood heterogeneity in DUP, having accounted for a priori individual-level confounders.
Neighbourhood-level variation in DUP was negligible compared to overall variability. A non-hierarchical model with age, sex and ethnicity covariates, but without area-level random effects, provided the best fit to the data.
Neighbourhood factors do not appear to be associated with DUP, suggesting its predictors lie at individual and family levels. Our results inform mental healthcare planning, suggesting that in one urbanised area of Southeast London, where you live does not affect duration of untreated psychosis.
PMCID: PMC2812704  PMID: 19875323
Neighbourhood; DUP; Spatial epidemiology; Psychosis; Geography
5.  Deaths in Canada from lung cancer due to involuntary smoking. 
Recently published evidence indicates that involuntary smoking causes an increased risk of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Information was compiled on the proportion of people who had never smoked among victims of lung cancer, the risk of lung cancer for nonsmokers married to smokers and the prevalence of such exposure. On the basis of these data we estimate that 50 to 60 of the deaths from lung cancer in Canada in 1985 among people who had never smoked were caused by spousal smoking; about 90% occurred in women. The total number of deaths from lung cancer attributable to exposure to tobacco smoke from spouses and other sources (mainly the workplace) was derived by applying estimated age- and sex-specific rates of death from lung cancer attributable to such exposure to the population of Canadians who have never smoked; about 330 deaths from lung cancer annually are attributable to such exposure.
PMCID: PMC1491963  PMID: 3567810
6.  Tobacco smoke in the workplace: an occupational health hazard. 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1984;131(10):1199-1204.
Tobacco smoke, which contains over 50 known carcinogens and many other toxic agents, is a health hazard for nonsmokers who are regularly exposed to it while at work. Involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke annoys and irritates many healthy nonsmokers. Serious acute health effects are probably limited to the one fifth of the population with pre-existing health conditions that are aggravated by exposure to tobacco smoke. The consequences of long-term exposure include decreased lung function and lung cancer. Existing air quality standards for workplaces do not directly specify an acceptable level for tobacco smoke. The evidence on the composition of tobacco smoke and on the health hazards of involuntary exposure suggests that there may not be a "safe" level for such exposure.
PMCID: PMC1483688  PMID: 6498670
7.  The effect of the environment on symptom dimensions in the first episode of psychosis: a multilevel study 
Psychological Medicine  2014;44(11):2419-2430.
The extent to which different symptom dimensions vary according to epidemiological factors associated with categorical definitions of first-episode psychosis (FEP) is unknown. We hypothesized that positive psychotic symptoms, including paranoid delusions and depressive symptoms, would be more prominent in more urban environments.
We collected clinical and epidemiological data on 469 people with FEP (ICD-10 F10–F33) in two centres of the Aetiology and Ethnicity in Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses (AESOP) study: Southeast London and Nottinghamshire. We used multilevel regression models to examine neighbourhood-level and between-centre differences in five symptom dimensions (reality distortion, negative symptoms, manic symptoms, depressive symptoms and disorganization) underpinning Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) Item Group Checklist (IGC) symptoms. Delusions of persecution and reference, along with other individual IGC symptoms, were inspected for area-level variation.
Reality distortion [estimated effect size (EES) 0.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–0.24] and depressive symptoms (EES 0.21, 95% CI 0.07–0.34) were elevated in people with FEP living in more urban Southeast London but disorganized symptomatology was lower (EES –0.06, 95% CI –0.10 to –0.02), after controlling for confounders. Delusions of persecution were not associated with increased neighbourhood population density [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.01, 95% CI 0.83–1.23], although an effect was observed for delusions of reference (aOR 1.41, 95% CI 1.12–1.77). Hallucinatory symptoms showed consistent elevation in more densely populated neighbourhoods (aOR 1.32, 95% CI 1.09–1.61).
In people experiencing FEP, elevated levels of reality distortion and depressive symptoms were observed in more urban, densely populated neighbourhoods. No clear association was observed for paranoid delusions; hallucinations were consistently associated with increased population density. These results suggest that urban environments may affect the syndromal presentation of psychotic disorders.
PMCID: PMC4070408  PMID: 24443807
Epidemiology; neighbourhood; paranoia; positive symptoms; psychosis; symptom dimensions; symptomatology; social environment; urbanicity

Results 1-7 (7)