People living in urban areas are more prone to suffer from psychotic disorders, reveals a new study.
"There is a substantial worldwide variation in incidence rates of schizophrenia," the Cardiff University authors wrote.
"The clearest geographic pattern within this distribution of rates is that urban areas have a higher incidence of schizophrenia than rural areas," Stanley Zammit wrote.
They added that this association depends on area characteristics rather than by characteristics of the individuals themselves. And social fragmentation was the most important area characteristic that explained the increased risk of psychosis in individuals brought up in cities.
The authors also note that, "our findings highlight the concern that physical integration alone is not sufficient but that some of the positive characteristics traditionally conferred by segregation, such as a localized sense of safety, cohesion and community spirit, must also be maintained to enhance the mental health of individuals within the population."
The report has been published in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.