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Pattern of birth in anorexia nervosa I: early-onset cases in the United Kingdom

Pattern of birth in anorexia nervosa I: early-onset cases in the United Kingdom
Pattern of birth in anorexia nervosa I: early-onset cases in the United Kingdom
OBJECTIVES: Previous studies suggest that adults with anorexia nervosa are more likely to be born in spring and early summer. This study examines whether this pattern of birth is true of early-onset anorexia nervosa, and whether there is a relationship between environmental temperature at assumed time of conception and a later diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.

METHOD: The population were children and adolescents with diagnoses of anorexia nervosa (N = 259) or "other eating disorders" (N = 149). Distribution of births across the year was compared between groups and relative to standard population norms. Temperature at assumed time of conception was taken from meteorological records.

RESULTS: There was a significant preponderance of births among those with anorexia nervosa between April and June, compared with the other months of the year and with the "other eating disorders" group. Anorexia nervosa was also associated with higher environmental temperature at assumed time of conception.

CONCLUSIONS: Among early-onset cases in the United Kingdom, patients with anorexia nervosa are more likely to be born between April and June, and to be conceived during warmer months. A tentative "temperature at conception" hypothesis is advanced to explain these findings and to generate further research.
pattern of birth, anorexia nervosa, season of birth, children, eating disorders, risk factors
0276-3478
11-17
Watkins, Beth
c11b993c-9900-44ce-9536-22016141b634
Willoughby, Kate
f920c076-e8de-4104-8617-00b28011aa72
Waller, Glenn
8f917a34-f50f-4703-a50f-dc9a9a6fc24b
Serpell, Lucy
c77a1028-75cd-4bd2-89e6-0bc0b6aae428
Lask, Bryan
cd217286-5307-48f9-ac7d-a41de3317b94
Watkins, Beth
c11b993c-9900-44ce-9536-22016141b634
Willoughby, Kate
f920c076-e8de-4104-8617-00b28011aa72
Waller, Glenn
8f917a34-f50f-4703-a50f-dc9a9a6fc24b
Serpell, Lucy
c77a1028-75cd-4bd2-89e6-0bc0b6aae428
Lask, Bryan
cd217286-5307-48f9-ac7d-a41de3317b94

Watkins, Beth, Willoughby, Kate, Waller, Glenn, Serpell, Lucy and Lask, Bryan (2002) Pattern of birth in anorexia nervosa I: early-onset cases in the United Kingdom. The International Journal of Eating Disorders, 32 (1), 11-17. (doi:10.1002/eat.10057). (PMID:12183938)

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Previous studies suggest that adults with anorexia nervosa are more likely to be born in spring and early summer. This study examines whether this pattern of birth is true of early-onset anorexia nervosa, and whether there is a relationship between environmental temperature at assumed time of conception and a later diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.

METHOD: The population were children and adolescents with diagnoses of anorexia nervosa (N = 259) or "other eating disorders" (N = 149). Distribution of births across the year was compared between groups and relative to standard population norms. Temperature at assumed time of conception was taken from meteorological records.

RESULTS: There was a significant preponderance of births among those with anorexia nervosa between April and June, compared with the other months of the year and with the "other eating disorders" group. Anorexia nervosa was also associated with higher environmental temperature at assumed time of conception.

CONCLUSIONS: Among early-onset cases in the United Kingdom, patients with anorexia nervosa are more likely to be born between April and June, and to be conceived during warmer months. A tentative "temperature at conception" hypothesis is advanced to explain these findings and to generate further research.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 14 May 2002
Published date: July 2002
Keywords: pattern of birth, anorexia nervosa, season of birth, children, eating disorders, risk factors
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 347527
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/347527
ISSN: 0276-3478
PURE UUID: 3bc9ce7b-fd79-4623-a710-c804b6f43817

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Date deposited: 23 Jan 2013 11:24
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:45

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Contributors

Author: Beth Watkins
Author: Kate Willoughby
Author: Glenn Waller
Author: Lucy Serpell
Author: Bryan Lask

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