Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Males With A Female Twin May Be At Higher Risk For Anorexia Nervosa

Date:
December 4, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Males who have a twin sister appear more likely to develop the eating disorder anorexia nervosa than other males, including those with a twin brother. This finding supports the hypothesis that exposure to female sex hormones in the womb may be related to the risk for anorexia nervosa.

Males who have a twin sister appear more likely to develop the eating disorder anorexia nervosa than other males, including those with a twin brother, according to a new report. This finding supports the hypothesis that exposure to female sex hormones in the womb may be related to the risk for anorexia nervosa.

"Anorexia nervosa is approximately 10 times more common in females than in males," the authors write as background information in the article. "The reasons for this difference are not known, and it is likely that their unraveling will represent an important step forward in the understanding of the etiopathogenetic factors involved in the development of eating disorders."

Marco Procopio, M.D., M.R.C.Psych., of the University of Sussex, Brighton, England, and Paul Marriott, Ph.D., of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, analyzed data from a study of Swedish twins born between 1935 and 1958. Two sets of diagnostic criteria, one broader and one more narrow, were used to determine which twins had anorexia nervosa.

Overall, female twins were more likely than male twins to develop anorexia nervosa. The one exception was among males who had a dizygotic (fraternal) twin sister. "In fact, their risk is at a level that is not statistically significantly different from that of females from such a pair," the authors write. Among 4,478 dizygotic opposite-sex twins, 20 females and 16 males had anorexia nervosa using narrow criteria and 32 females and 27 males qualified under the broad criteria. Risk for these female twins was not significantly different from than that of other female twins.

"A plausible explanation for this phenomenon is that in pregnancies bearing a female fetus, a substance is produced, probably hormonal, that increases the risk of having anorexia nervosa in adulthood," the authors write. "Because the male half of an opposite-sex twin pair would also be exposed to this substance, it could account for the observed elevated risk in males with female twins. The most likely candidates are sex steroid hormones."

"The results of our study are compatible with the hypothesis that intrauterine exposure to sex hormones might influence neurodevelopment, affecting the risk of developing anorexia nervosa in adult life," they conclude. "This might be a factor contributing to the higher risk of developing anorexia nervosa in females."

Journal reference: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007;64(12):1402-1408.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Males With A Female Twin May Be At Higher Risk For Anorexia Nervosa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203164800.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, December 4). Males With A Female Twin May Be At Higher Risk For Anorexia Nervosa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203164800.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Males With A Female Twin May Be At Higher Risk For Anorexia Nervosa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203164800.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins