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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2000 September;41(3):145-54

language: Italian

Eating disorders in Italy: review of epidemiological studies

Di Pietro G., Sorge F.


Background. Aim of this paper is to underline that eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and eating disorders not otherwise specified) have increased in the last years in Italy.
Methods. Epidemiological studies and prevalence surveys, carried out over the last ten years in Italy, have been reviewed and compared in order to assess the real increase of eating disorders.
Results. Epidemiological data on incidence and on general population in Italy have not been found. Most papers are based on two stages methodology and are carried out among school-age adolescent girls; these studies are in agreement with the percentage of prevalence (point and liftime): 0.5% for anorexia, 1% for bulimia, while there is a greater fluctuation of data for EDNOS (3-14 %).
Conclusions. Comparisons among these several studies are difficult because different methods are used. However, there is no evidence of a real increase in prevalence of anorexia and bulimia nervosa; partial and subclinical syndromes show a moderate increase.

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