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Open Access Research article

Rural-urban variation in incidence of psychosis in France: a prospective epidemiologic study in two contrasted catchment areas

Andrei Szöke1234*, Thomas Charpeaud456, Anne-Marie Galliot12, Jeanne Vilain1234, Jean-Romain Richard24, Marion Leboyer1234, Pierre-Michel Llorca456 and Franck Schürhoff1234

Author Affiliations

1 AP-HP, Groupe Hospitalier “Mondor” Pôle de Psychiatrie, Créteil 94000, France

2 INSERM, U955 Equipe 15, Créteil 94000, France

3 Université Paris-Est, Faculté de médecine, Créteil 94000, France

4 Fondation Fondamental, Créteil 94000, France

5 Université d’Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand 63000, France

6 CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont-Ferrand 63000, France

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BMC Psychiatry 2014, 14:78  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-78

Published: 17 March 2014



The aim of our study is to provide data on the incidence of psychotic disorders in France and compare the incidence rates in populations with different levels of urbanization.


We prospectively included the incident cases of psychotic disorders from two catchment areas with contrasted levels of urbanization. In the more rural area, we also calculated incidence rates in three different groups of population defined by the size of towns in which they live (small, medium and large towns).


The annual incidence of psychosis was greater in the urban area (36.02/100000 person-year at risk) than in the rural area (17.2/100000 person-year at risk).

Non-affective psychoses were the majority of cases and their incidence was greater in males and younger subjects. The affective psychoses were slightly more frequent in women and showed less variation with age. In the rural centre, greater levels of urbanicity were associated with an increase in the incidence of all psychoses (affective and non-affective).


Our study confirms previous observations of increased incidence rates for non-affective psychoses in the more urbanized areas and suggests that a similar pattern might be present for affective psychoses.