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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% CI = 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% CI = 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 publication




Journal article


American Journal of Public Health

Publication Date





496 - 501