A new study published in BMJ Open highlights the incidence of anorexia nervosa among young people in the UK and Ireland.
Researchers conducted a surveillance study of a nationally representative sample of young people aged 8-17 years from the UK and Ireland using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance System. The estimated annual incidence rates (IRs) of anorexia nervosa (confirmed new cases per 100,000 population at risk) were determined.
The overall adjusted IR of anorexia nervosa was estimated to be 13.68 (95% CI, 12.88-14.52) per 100,000 population. The individual IRs for young women and young men were 25.66 (95% CI, 24.09-27.30) and 2.28 (95% CI, 1.84-2.79), respectively. The incidence of anorexia nervosa increased with age, peaking at age 15 years for young women and 16 years for young men. Comparison with previous estimates indicates a rise in IRs for younger children over time.
The authors commented: "Future research should explore the development of earlier interventions, given evidence of an increase in incidence in young children suggesting that onset of anorexia nervosa may be starting earlier for some young people than suggested by previous research."