The ups and downs of anorexia nervosa




We updated our incidence study by identifying Rochester, Minnesota, residents diagnosed with anorexia nervosa during 1985 through 1989.


From a community-based epidemiologic resource, 2,806 medical records with diagnoses including anorexia nervosa, eating disorder, bulimia, amenorrhea and other conditions were screened to identify new cases of anorexia nervosa.


Two hundred eight (193 females and 15 males) residents fulfilled standard diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa. The overall age-sex-adjusted incidence rate was 8.3 per 100,000 person-years. The age-adjusted incidence among females was 15.0 per 100,000 person-years compared to 1.5 per 100,000 among males. The long-term linear increase for 15 to 24-year-old females noted during the first 50 years of the study continued. The disorder remained less frequent among older females.


Anorexia nervosa remains a relatively common disorder among young females. While there are short-term fluctuations in incidence, the long-term increasing trend for 15 to 24-year-old females has continued. © 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 26: 397–405, 1999.