Racial/ethnic discrimination and common mental disorders among workers: Findings from the EMPIRIC study of ethnic minority groups in the United Kingdom

K Bhui*, S Stansfeld, Kwame McKenzie, S Karlsen, J Nazroo, S Weich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. We measured perceived discrimination and its association with common mental disorders among workers in the United Kingdom.

Methods. We conducted a secondary analysis of a national sample of 6 ethnic groups (n=2054). Discrimination was measured as reports of insults; unfair treatment at work; or job denial stemming from race, religion, or language. The outcome assessed was presence of common mental disorders.

Results. The risk of mental disorders was highest among ethnic minority individuals reporting unfair treatment (odds ratio [OR]=2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.2, 3.2) and racial insults (OR =2.3; 95% Cl =1.4, 3.6). The overall greatest risks were observed among Black Caribbeans exposed to unfair treatment at work (OR=2.9; 95% CI= 1.2; 7.3) and Indian (OR=3.1; 95% Cl=1.4, 7.2), Bangladeshi (OR=32.9; 95% CI=2.5, 436.0), and Irish (OR=2.9; 95% CI=1.1, 7.6) individuals reporting insults.

Conclusions. Racial/ethnic discrimination shows strong associations with common mental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-501
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005



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