The aim of this study was to examine the associations between psychosocial factors and family background and incidence of anorexia nervosa (AN) in a Swedish cohort.

The Stockholm Birth Cohort, SBC (N = 14,294) contains information on social background and general health in males and females, born in Stockholm 1953. Hospitalizations for AN, based on diagnoses from the ICD-8 through ICD-10, were recorded from 1969 to 2002. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to measure the association between psychosocial characteristics and family background and the risk of AN.

Higher maternal education was associated with a higher risk for hospitalization for AN. An increased risk for AN was also found among females who stated that they “often compare their future prospects with others.”

Although the study is based on a low number of cases, it confirms earlier findings of higher maternal education among individuals with eating disorders in similar cohorts.

© 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2011)