Prevalence of eating disorders among Norwegian women and men in a psychiatric outpatient unit.

Research paper by K W KW Taraldsen, L L Eriksen, K G KG Götestam

Indexed on: 01 Sep '96Published on: 01 Sep '96Published in: International Journal of Eating Disorders


The primary purpose of the study was to establish lifetime and point prevalence of different eating disorders in a psychiatric outpatient population of both men and women.A questionnaire was sent out to 364 patients referred to a psychiatric outpatient department. Of these questionnaires, 234 (64.3%) were completed and returned. Patient questionnaires were analyzed to assess the prevalence for different groups of eating disorders according to DSM-III-R criteria.In women there was a lifetime prevalence of 5.2% of anorexia nervosa (AN), 16.1% bulimia nervosa (BN), 6.5% binge eating disorder (BED), and 11.0% eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), in total 38.7%. The point prevalence was 1.9% AN, 5.2% BN, 3.2% BED, nd 8.4% EDNOS, in total 18.7%. The lifetime prevalence in men was 0% AN, 10.7% BN, 6.7% BED, and 4.0% EDNOS, in total 21.3%. Point prevalence was found to be 0% AN, 2.7% BN, 5.3% BED, and 6.7% EDNOS, in total 14.7%. Staff information yielded substantially lower rates of eating disorders among these patients. There was a significantly higher rate of eating disorders in the close family of eating-disordered patients compared to the patient group without such a disorder.The results support earlier studies indicating that younger patients have more eating disorders. The men showed frequencies of BN and BED at the same level as women, but the frequency of EDNOS was lower, and there were no cases of AN.