Pattern of birth in early-onset anorexia nervosa: an equatorial study

Authors

  • Kate Willoughby BSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mental Health, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, London, United Kingdom
    2. Eating Disorders Service, Huntercombe Maidenhead Hospital, Berkshire, United Kingdom
    • Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Research Team, Department of Mental Health, St. George's Hospital Medical School, Jenner Wing, Cranmer Terrace, London, SW17 0RE, United Kingdom
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  • Rebecca Bowen BSc,

    1. Department of Mental Health, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, London, United Kingdom
    2. Eating Disorders Service, Huntercombe Maidenhead Hospital, Berkshire, United Kingdom
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  • Ee-Lian Lee MMed(Psych),

    1. Eating Disorders Clinic, Department of General Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health and Woodbridge Hospital, Buangkok View, Singapore
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  • Parvathy Pathy MMed(Psych),

    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health and Woodbridge Hospital, Buangkok View, Singapore
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  • Bryan Lask FRCPsych

    1. Department of Mental Health, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, London, United Kingdom
    2. Eating Disorders Service, Huntercombe Maidenhead Hospital, Berkshire, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Objective

Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) born in the northern and southern hemispheres are more likely to be born during spring months than at any other time of the year. It has been hypothesized that environmental temperature at the time of conception may have a significant role in this pattern of findings. The current study aims to investigate the pattern of birth of early-onset AN patients in an equatorial region (Singapore), where there is little difference in environmental temperature throughout the year.

Method

Dates of birth were collected for 102 patients who were born in Singapore and diagnosed with early-onset AN. The patterns of birth were analyzed using chi-square analysis.

Results

There was no difference across the year in the birth patterns of patients with early-onset AN in Singapore, nor were there any differences between patients with restrictive and binge/purge AN.

Discussion

This lack of seasonal variation in the equator adds support to the “temperature at conception” hypothesis. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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