Premenarcheal Anorexia Nervosa


Requests for reprints to: Professor A. H. Crisp, Department of Psychiatry, Jenner Wing, St George's Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, U.K.


Abstract The notions of ‘early-onset’ and ‘prepubertal’ anorexia nervosa are reviewed, with particular reference to the role of the pubertal process within the condition.

A database of 650 female cases is utilized to identify a small sub-group (n= 30) who developed the condition before the menarche. Many clinical, familial, social and precipitating factors distinguish this group from post-pubertal cases as a whole, and a sub-group of post-menarcheal cases (n= 42) matched for age.

An explanation for previous inconsistent findings in‘early-onset’ and ‘prepubertal’ anorexia nervosa is advanced.