Incidence of severe anorexia nervosa in Switzerland: 40 years of development




The current study examined the development of the incidence of severe anorexia nervosa with five sampling periods covering the years 1956–1995 in a geographically defined region of Switzerland.


Applying the same methodology as in the earlier sampling periods, the medical records of all hospitals of the canton of Zurich were screened manually for first-time hospitalizations of female anorexia nervosa patients during the years 1993–1995. Incidence rates were compared with the previous sampling period (1956–1985).


The incidence rate of severe anorexia nervosa in the total population and the rate in the population at risk (females 12–25 years old) did not differ significantly from the incidence rates of 1983–1985.


The incidence of severe anorexia nervosa in the canton of Zurich rose significantly during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, the incidence appears to have reached a plateau. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 35: 250–258, 2004.

An erratum to this article is published in International Journal of Eating Disorders (2004) 36(1) 118–119.