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Two psychosocial health measures were included in the survey: the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12), a high score on which is an indicator of possible psychiatric morbidity, and a 'social support' scale measuring the level of support the person concerned feels they have from family and friends.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani men and women were more likely than the general population to have a high GHQ12 score, indicating that they may be more likely to suffer from psychiatric illness (risk ratios _ Bangladeshi men 1.87, women 1.57; Pakistani men 1.34, women 1.27). Relatively high prevalence of high GHQ12 scores was also seen in Black Caribbean and Indian women (risk ratios 1.22 and 1.26 respectively).

People of Chinese origin were far less likely to have a high GHQ12 score than the general population (risk ratios 0.19 for men, 0.39 for women). Among Black Caribbean and Indian men, and Irish men and women, the prevalence of high GHQ12 scores did not differ from the general population.

In terms of social support, South Asian and Chinese men and women were at least twice as likely as the general population to be classified as having a severe lack of social support, while Black Caribbeans were around 30% more likely to be so classified.

Source: The Health Survey of England 1999