[Prevalence of clinical and subclinical forms of anorexia and bulimia nervosa among working females and males]

P Szabó, F Túry
Orvosi Hetilap 1995 August 20, 136 (34): 1829-35
In a recent multicentre study it turned out that both clinical and subclinical eating disorders are more prevalent in Hungarian college students than among their Austrian and German counterparts. Now the prevalence of eating disorders was assessed in a population of Hungarian workers. From 1800 working females and males 762 returned the questionnaires; data of 689 subjects (571 females and 118 males) were analysed. Among females the prevalence rates of bulimia nervosa (according to DSM-III-R), subclinical bulimia nervosa and subclinical anorexia nervosa are 0.7% (n = 4), 5.3% (n = 30) and 0.7% (n = 4), respectively. In males two persons (1.7%) met DSM-III-R criteria for bulimia nervosa, three (2.5%) were identified as having subclinical bulimia nervosa and two (1.7%) subclinical anorexia nervosa. No case of clinical anorexia nervosa was found. So the overall prevalences of clinical and subclinical eating disorder syndromes are 6.7% for females and 5.9% for males in the working population. These disorders that mostly remain hidden in the population under study do not seem to be quite recent. These rather unfavorably high prevalence rates can be explained by the tendency for over-identification with Western norms and values; in addition, in the group of workers, the risk factors are supposed to be combined with the relative lack of protective factors.

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