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A number of studies have examined the prevalence of bulimia in the general population. If we take these studies in turn
Kendler et al (1991)investigated 2,163 sets of twins and found that their lifetime prevalence rate was 2.8%and their risk for narrowly defined bulimia was 4.2%. When a broader definition was used these estimates rose to 5.7% and 8.0%, respectively.
Proband-wise concordance for narrowly defined bulimia was 22.9% in monozygotic and 8.7% in dizygotic twins. The best-fitting model indicated that familial aggregation was due solely to genetic factors.
They concluded that the liability to fully syndromal bulimia nervosa, which affects around one in 25 women at some point in their lives, is substantially influenced by both epidemiologic and genetic risk factors.
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