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Eating disorders (ED) have increasingly become a global topic of concern for public health. A better understanding of ED incidence is a basic requirement for improving its management. However, the temporal trend of ED incidence in China is still unknown.
The incidence rates of ED from 1990 to 2017 were collected from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 database according to the following: subtype, i.e. anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN); sex; and age group. The average annual percent changes and relative risks were calculated using joinpoint regression and the age–period–cohort model, respectively.
From 1990 to 2017, age-standardized incidence rates of ED continued to increase in males and females, and this variation trend was observed in AN and BN. Joinpoint regression analysis showed that the incidence rates increased in all age groups. Adolescents had the highest risk of developing ED, followed by young adults. Age effects were the most influential risk factor for ED incidence. Period effects showed that the risk of developing ED continuously increased with increasing time periods in BN, but not in ED and AN. Concerning the cohort effects, people born after the 1990s presented a higher risk of ED, though they presented a lower risk of BN as compared to the whole cohort.
ED incidence rates continue to increase in China, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Further etiological studies are needed to explain these increases and to facilitate the early identification of high-risk individuals.
Eating disorders have increasingly become a public health concern globally. This study aimed to reveal the burden of eating disorders at the global, regional and national levels using the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2017 data.
We extracted the age-standardised rates (ASRs) of prevalence and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and their 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, between 1990 and 2017 from the GBD 2017 data. The estimated annual percentage changes (EAPCs) were calculated to quantify the secular trends of the burden of eating disorders.
The ASRs of prevalence and the DALYs of eating disorders continuously increased worldwide from 1990 to 2017 by an average of 0.65 (95% UI: 0.59–0.71) and 0.66 (95% UI: 0.60–0.72), respectively. The burden of eating disorders was higher in females than in males, but the increment in ASRs was greater in males than in females over time. In 2017, the highest burden of eating disorders was observed in the high sociodemographic index (SDI) regions, especially Australasia (ASR of prevalence = 807.13, 95% UI: 664.20–982.30; ASR of DALYs = 170.74, 95% UI: 113.43–244.14, per 100 000 population), Western Europe and high-income North America. However, the most significant increment of the burden of eating disorders was observed in East Asia (EAPC for prevalence = 2.23, 95% UI: 2.14–2.32; EAPC for DALYs = 2.22, 95% UI: 2.13–2.31), followed by South Asia. An increasing trend in the burden of eating disorders at the national level was observed among most countries or territories. The countries with the top three highest increasing trends were Equatorial Guinea, Bosnia and Herzegovina and China. Positive associations were found between the burden estimates and the SDI levels in almost all geographic regions during the observed 28-year period. We also found that the human development indexes in 2017 were positively correlated with the EAPCs of the ASRs of prevalence (ρ = 0.222, P = 0.002) and DALYs (ρ = 0.208, P = 0.003).
The highest burden of eating disorders remains in the high-income western countries, but an increasing trend was observed globally and in all SDI-quintiles, especially in Asian regions that were highly populous. These results could help governments worldwide formulate suitable medical and health policies for the prevention and early intervention of eating disorders.
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