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Br J Psychiatry. 1996 Apr;168(4):500-6.

Should amenorrhoea be necessary for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa? Evidence from a Canadian community sample.

Author information

  • 1Health Systems Research Unit, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study compares the characteristics of women with anorexia nervosa with those of women who have all the diagnostic features of that disorder except amenorrhoea.

METHOD:

The study uses data from a large community epidemiological survey of the mental health status of household residents in Ontario, Canada. A multi-stage stratified sampling design generated a sample of 4285 females aged 15-64. DSM-III-R diagnoses were made using the Composite International Diagnostic interview.

RESULTS:

Eighty-four out of 4285 female respondents met full or partial-syndrome criteria for anorexia nervosa. Comparison of these two groups revealed few statistically significant differences in terms of demographics, psychiatric comorbidity, family history or early experiences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Amenorrhoea did not discriminate between women with anorexia nervosa and women with all the features except amenorrhoea across a number of relevant variables. The authors question the utility of amenorrhoea as a diagnostic criterion.

PMID:
8730948
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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