Time trends in the incidence of eating disorders: a primary care study in the Netherlands

Int J Eat Disord. 2006 Nov;39(7):565-9. doi: 10.1002/eat.20316.


Objective: This Dutch epidemiological study used primary care-based data to examine changes in the incidence of eating disorders in the 1990s compared to the 1980s.

Method: A nationwide network of general practitioners, serving a representative sample of the total Dutch population, recorded newly diagnosed patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) in their practices during 1985-1989 and 1995-1999.

Results: The overall incidence of AN was stable (from 7.4 to 7.7 per 100,000). However, the incidence among 15-19-year-old females increased significantly (from 56.4 to 109.2 per 100,000). The incidence rate of BN decreased nonsignificantly from 8.6 to 6.1 per 100,000.

Conclusion: The time trend of an increasing AN incidence among the high risk group continued to the end of the past century. The BN incidence did not rise as was expected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy
  • Bulimia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / therapy
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data