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Int J Eat Disord. 2001 Sep;30(2):167-75.

Season of birth in females with anorexia nervosa in Northeast Scotland.

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1
Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether patients with anorexia nervosa exhibit an abnormal pattern in their season of birth.

METHOD:

Case records of female patients presenting to secondary services in Northeast Scotland from 1965 to 1997 who received a clinical diagnosis of anorexia nervosa were examined. The months of birth of the 446 anorexic patients with a confirmed diagnosis were compared with 5,766 female control subjects born locally in 1951, 1961, 1971, and 1981.

RESULTS:

Patients with anorexia nervosa had an excess of births in the first 6 months of the year (p =.013). The greatest excess was from March to June.

DISCUSSION:

This provides further evidence that birth dates of anorexics peak in the late spring and early summer. There are parallels with the epidemiology of schizophrenia. The evidence suggests that a seasonally fluctuating factor, most plausibly an intrauterine effect of common infectious agents during the winter months, is of etiological significance.

PMID:
11449450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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