Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Anorexia Nervosa in ‘Non-White’ Populations

  • G. M. Soomro (a1), A.H. Crisp (a1), D. Lynch (a1), Duong Tran (a1) and N. Joughin (a1)...

Abstract

Background

Comparisons were made between two groups of anorectic patients, ‘non-white’ and ‘white‘, on a variety of clinical and social characteristics.

Method

The study is based on a 34-year long database (1960–93) associated with a national tertiary referral centre. Thirty-six non-white patients meeting DSM–III–R criteria for anorexia nervosa (AN) and five with ‘partial syndrome’ are compared with a white group comprising 944 patients with full syndrome.

Results

The main finding is clinical similarity between the two groups, extending to social class and pathological patterns of family relationship. The non-whites are shorter in stature (P = 0.004) and report earlier menarche (P = 0.004); they are younger at presentation (P < 0.001), somewhat less emaciated, and practice veganism slightly more commonly; they less often acknowledge sensitivity to ‘fatness’ (P < 0.003). This sensitivity was exposed later whenever treatment involved substantial weight gain. The proportion of non-white cases accepted for assessment has not changed in respect of year of onset (around 6%) for the last 20 years, or year of presentation (around 6–7%) over the last 15 years. There was a tendency for non-white patients to be referred earlier in their illness.

Conclusions

The clinical and background profiles of non-white and white anorectics are generally similar. The numbers arising and presenting have not changed recently. Non-white patients apparently have as ready access as white patients to assessment and treatment by us.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Professor A. H. Crisp, Division of Psychological Medicine, Department of Mental Health Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE

References

Hide All
Abrams, K. K., Allen, L. R. & Gray, J. J. (1993) Disordered eating attitudes and behaviours, psychological adjustment and ethnic identity: A comparison of black and white female college students. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 14, 4957.
American Psychiatric Association (1987) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (3rd edn, revised) (DSM–III–R). Washington, DC: APA.
Anderson, A. E. & Hay, A. (1985) Racial and socio-economic influences in anorexia nervosa and bulimia. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 4, 479487.
Cooper, P. J., Taylor, M. J., Cooper, Z., et al (1987) The development and validation of the Body Shape Questionnaire. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 6, 485494.
Crisp, A. H. (1977) Diagnosis and outcome of anorexia nervosa: the St George's view. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 70, 464470.
Crisp, A. H. (1980) Anorexia Nervosa: Let Me Be. London: Baillière Tindall.
Crisp, A. H., Burns, T & Bhat, A. V. (1986) Primary anorexia nervosa in the male and female: a comparison of clinical features and prognosis. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 59, 123132.
Dolan, B. M., Lacey, J. H. & Evans, C. (1990) Eating behaviour and attitudes to weight and shape in British women from three ethnic groups. British Journal of Psychiatry, 157, 523528.
Garner, D. M. & Garfinkel, P. E. (1979) The Eating Attitude Test: an index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Psychological Medicine, 9, 273279.
Hiebert, K. A., Felice, M. A., Wingard, D. L., et al (1988) Comparison of outcome in Hispanic and Caucasian patients with anorexia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 7, 693696.
Holden, N. L. & Robinson, P. H. (1988) Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in British blacks. British Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 544549.
Hosmer, D. W. & Lemeshow, S. (1989) Applied Logistic Regression. London: Wiley.
King, M. B. (1993) Cultural aspects of eating disorders. International Review of Psychiatry, 5, 205216.
Lee, S., Ho, T. P. & Hsu, L. K. G. (1993) Fat phobic and nonfat phobic anorexia nervosa: a comparative study of 70 Chinese patients in Hong Kong. Psychological Medicine, 23, 9991017.
Mumford, D. B. & Whitehouse, A. M. (1988) Increased prevalence of bulimia nervosa among Asian school girls. British Medical Journal, 297, 718.
Mumford, D. B. & Whitehouse, A. M. & Platts, M. (1991) Sociocultural correlates of eating disorders among Asian schoolgirls in Bradford. British Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 222228.
Nasser, M. (1986) Comparative study of the prevalence of abnormal eating attitudes among Arab female students of both London and Cairo Universities. Psychological Medicine, 16, 621625.
Rosner, B. (1990) Fundamentals of Biostatistics, pp 258263. London: Wordsworth.
Zigmund, A. S. & Snaith, R. P. (1983) The Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 67, 361370.

Anorexia Nervosa in ‘Non-White’ Populations

  • G. M. Soomro (a1), A.H. Crisp (a1), D. Lynch (a1), Duong Tran (a1) and N. Joughin (a1)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Anorexia Nervosa in ‘Non-White’ Populations

  • G. M. Soomro (a1), A.H. Crisp (a1), D. Lynch (a1), Duong Tran (a1) and N. Joughin (a1)...
Submit a response

eLetters

We encountered an error trying to retrieve eLetters for this article. Please try again or contact Customer Services

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *