The Particulars: Previous studies have been inconclusive on whether racial differences exist in the prevalence of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It has been hypothesized that the healthcare setting where patients get treated may account for these discrepancies.

Data Breakdown: Researchers investigated racial differences in the prevalence of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among patients presenting to EDs in Maryland and California. In Maryland, African Americans had a 1.86 odds ratio (OR) for having schizophrenia and a 0.39 OR for having bipolar disorder when compared with Caucasians. In California, the corresponding ORs were 1.13 for schizophrenia and 0.41 for bipolar disorder.

Take Home Pearls: Among patients presenting to the ED, schizophrenia appears to be more prevalent among African Americans than Caucasians. Conversely, bipolar disorder appears to be more frequent among Caucasians than African Americans.