Objective: The incidence of schizophrenia among Surinamese immigrants to the Netherlands is high. The authors tested Ødegaard's hypothesis that this phenomenon is explained by selective migration.
Method: The authors imagined that migration from Surinam to the Netherlands subsumed the entire population of Surinam and not solely individuals at risk for schizophrenia. They compared the risk of a first admission to a Dutch mental hospital for schizophrenia from 1983 to 1992 for Surinamese-born immigrants to the risk for Dutch-born individuals, using the Surinamese-born population in the Netherlands and the population of Surinam combined as the denominator for the immigrants.
Results: The age- and sex-adjusted relative risk of schizophrenia for the Surinamese-born immigrants was 1.46.
Conclusions: Selective migration cannot solely explain the higher incidence of schizophrenia in Surinamese immigrants to the Netherlands.