Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Anorexia Risk Determined In Utero?

Previous studies have shown that shared family environment has little effect on the development of anorexia, so researchers are now looking at shared intrauterine environment. A new study out this month from researchers in Sweden in The Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that female sex hormones exposure in the womb may have an affect on predisposition to anorexia.

The study looked at twins, same sex twins and opposite sex twins. Researchers observed 51 cases of anorexia among the female twins, 3 among the male twins and 36 among the opposite-sex pairs. What is interesting is that among the opposite-sex twins almost half the cases were in males- a greater number than we normally see as females in general have a 10 times higher risk than males for anorexia. So what does that mean?

"the male member of a male-female twin pair had a risk for anorexia statistically no different from the risk among females... Female sex hormones may influence neurodevelopment and later risk for anorexia, they suggest, and males in that uterine environment would be similarly affected."

For help on anorexia, try AnorexiaHelp.net, HealthyPlace.com, or Anorexia Treatment.

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