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Prevalence of eating disorders in Romanian, Hungarian and Saxon secondary school students in Transylvania

Prevalence of eating disorders in Romanian, Hungarian and Saxon secondary school students in Transylvania

Psychiatria Hungarica 24(2): 124-132

The majority of epidemiological studies in the field of eating disorders were carried out in the U.S. and in Western Europe. In the last 10 or 15 years, several epidemiological studies were published in Central and Eastern European countries, and eating disorders seem to be widespread in this region. The present paper is an epidemiological study of eating disorders in Romania, and analyses the prevalence of eating disorders among secondary school students in Transylvania. In addition to questions about demographic and anthropometric data, the questionnaire contained the General Health Questionnaire, the Eating Attitudes Test, the Eating Behavior Severity Scale, and the Bulimia Cognitive Distortions Scale. A total of 1621 secondary school students were surveyed in Romania out of which 650 Hungarians (285 males, 365 males), 669 Romanians (263 males, 406 females) and 302 Saxons (112 males, 190 females). The prevalence of eating disorders was calculated on the basis of simulated DSM-IV diagnoses. The prevalence of anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) were 0.3% and 0.8% in females. The prevalence of AN was 0.5% in the Hungarian and 0.2% in the Romanian female sample. No clinical cases of AN were found in the Saxon female sample. The prevalence of BN was 0.5% in the Hungarian, 1.2% in the Romanian and 0.5% in the Saxon female sample. For subclinical AN the rate of Hungarian female sample was 1.1 %, the Romanian 3.0%, and the Saxon 0.5%. The prevalence of subclinical BN in the Hungarian female sample was 0.5%, for the Romanian female sample 2.2% and for the Saxon female sample was 1.1%. The results also stress the importance of eating disorders in Romania. The differences between the ethnic groups points out the importance of the cultural factors in the development of eating disorders.

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Accession: 055157450

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PMID: 19667423

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