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Time trends in eating disorder incidence

  • Laura Currin (a1), Ulrike Schmidt (a2), Janet Treasure (a3) and Hershel Jick (a4)
Abstract
Background

During the years 1988–1993 the primary care incidence of anorexia nervosa in the UK remained stable, but the incidence of bulimia nervosa increased threefold.

Aims

To determine whether the incidence of anorexia nervosa remained stable, and that of bulimia nervosa continued to increase, in the years 1994–2000.

Method

The General Practice Research Database was screened for new cases of anorexia and bulimia nervosa between 1994 and 2000. Annual incidence rates were calculated for females aged 10–39 years and compared with rates from the previous 5 years.

Results

In 2000 primary care incidence rates were 4. 7 and 6. 6 per 100 000 population for anorexia and bulimia nervosa, respectively. The incidence of anorexia nervosa remained remarkably consistent over the period studied. Overall there was an increase in the incidence of bulimia, but rates declined after a peak in 1996.

Conclusions

This study provides further evidence for the stability of anorexia nervosa incidence rates. Decreased symptom recognition and changes in service use might have contributed to observed changes in the incidence of bulimia nervosa.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Laura Currin, Section of Eating Disorders, Box 059, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7848 0367; fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 0182; e-mail: l.currin@iop.kcl.ac.uk
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Time trends in eating disorder incidence

  • Laura Currin (a1), Ulrike Schmidt (a2), Janet Treasure (a3) and Hershel Jick (a4)
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