Non-fat–phobic anorexia nervosa in British South Asian adolescents

Authors

  • Amina Tareen MD,

    1. Department of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry, Edgware Community Hospital, Edgware, United Kingdom
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  • Matthew Hodes PhD, FRCPsych,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Academic Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
    • Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Academic Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Imperial College London, St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, United Kingdom
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  • Luiza Rangel MD

    1. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Academic Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Objective

The current study investigated the clinical features of British South Asian adolescent females presenting with low weight in the absence of organic disease.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective case note study of South Asian British female adolescents presenting with weight loss/anorexia nervosa to psychiatric clinics and matched White English peers presenting with low weight.

Results

South Asian patients presented more frequently with loss of appetite (p = .01) and less frequently with fat phobia (p = .032) and weight preoccupation (p = .001). South Asians also had significantly more satisfactory relationships with their nuclear family and peers (p = .03).

Discussion

Differing symptom profiles for anorexia nervosa need to be taken into account when assessing patients from different cultures. South Asian adolescents may present with a non–fat-phobic form of anorexia nervosa. This has clinical and epidemiologic implications. Further investigation is warranted to assess the nosologic status of this group. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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