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Anorexia NervosaThe findings of a very interesting study carried out by an international group of specialists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, leaded by Doctors Giulio Disanto, Sreeram V. Ramagopalan and Lahiru Handunnetthi, were recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The scientists are convinced that those people who were born in March, April or May, have higher chanced to develop such common eating disorder as Anorexia Nervosa.

The study involved a meta-analysis of the distribution of anorexia patients’ birth dates. The patients’ data was taken from medical records of British people with anorexia, which were divided into 4 independent groups, with total number of patients approaching to 1300 people. It turned out that for those who were born in spring, the number of cases with Anorexia Nervosa  was increased (namely 8 cases instead of every 7 cases expected), and for those who were born in autumn the actual number of cases was much smaller than the expected one.

Dr Lahiru Handunnetthi says: “A number of previous studies have found that mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression are more common among those born in the spring – so this finding in anorexia is perhaps not surprising.” However, many experts point on the necessity for further research. Dr. Terence Dovey, a specialist from the Centre for Research into Eating Disorders at Loughborough University, underlines that: “Anorexia is a very complex multifaceted disorder,” and this study “…only provides evidence of an association. Now we need more research to identify which factors are putting people at particular risk.”

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