The ups and downs of anorexia nervosa

Alexander R. Lucas, Cynthia S. Crowson, W. Michael O'Fallon, L. Joseph Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Objective: We updated our incidence study by identifying Rochester, Minnesota, residents diagnosed with anorexia nervosa during 1985 through 1989. Method: From a community-based epidemiologic resource, 2,806 medical records with diagnoses including anorexia nervosa, eating disorder, bulimia, amenorrhea and other conditions were screened to identify new cases of anorexia nervosa. Results: Two hundred eight (193 females and 15 males) residents fulfilled standard diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa. The overall age-sex-adjusted incidence rate was 8.3 per 100,000 person-years. The age-adjusted incidence among females was 15.0 per 100,000 person-years compared to 1.5 per 100,000 among males. The long-term linear increase for 15 to 24-year-old females noted during the first 50 years of the study continued. The disorder remained less frequent among older females. Discussion: Anorexia nervosa remains a relatively common disorder among young females. While there are short-term fluctuations in incidence, the long-term increasing trend for 15 to 24-year-old females has continued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-405
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Eating disorders
  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Population- based study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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