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Anorexia nervosa in Hong Kong: a Chinese perspective

  • Sing Lee (a1)

A prospective study of sixteen Chinese anorexic patients in Hong Kong indicates that they were single young females who came from lower social class, exhibited severe self-induced weight loss, rigid maintenance of low body weight and amenorrhea. Weight reduction was primarily by dietary restriction. The typical bulimic syndrome and major depression were uncommon. There were multiple aetiological factors, but no pre-morbid obesity and little pressure to pursue slimness for beauty. Instead of displaying an intense fear of obesity and a distorted body image, patients more commonly attributed poor food intake to abdominal bloating. As such, they only partially fulfilled current criteria for diagnosis. It is argued that such clinical patterns arise logically from their sociocultural backgrounds, but may gradually change with Westernization.

Corresponding author
1 Address for correspondence: Dr Sing Lee, Department of Psychiatry, 11/F, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong.
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Psychological Medicine
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