Childhood risk factors in Korean women with anorexia nervosa: Two sets of case-control studies with retrospective comparisons




The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of the risk factors for anorexia nervosa (AN) in Korean women.


Two sets of case–control comparisons were conducted, in which 52 women with lifetime AN from Seoul, S. Korea, were compared with 108 Korean healthy controls and also with 42 women with lifetime AN from the UK in terms of their childhood risk factors. A questionnaire designed to conduct a retrospective assessment of the childhood risk factors was administered to all participants.


The Korean AN women were more likely to report premorbid anxiety, perfectionism, and emotional undereating and were less likely to report having supportive figures in their childhood than the Korean healthy controls. There were no overall differences in the childhood risk factors between the Korean and British women with AN.


Premorbid anxiety, perfectionism, less social support, and emotional undereating merit attention as risk factors in Korean AN. The current results are informative, but an epidemiologically robust prospective case–control study would be needed to validate these findings. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2010;)