Objective: Previously we found that the incidence of anorexia nervosa (AN) in the general population was much lower in the Netherlands Antilles than in the Netherlands. As a follow-up we compared the incidence of AN in the Netherlands in persons from the Netherlands Antilles to native Dutch.
Method: A national register of psychiatric hospital admissions was screened for cases of AN. Incidence rates (IR) and incidence rate ratios (IRR) were computed.
Results: The IR of AN was 1.32 per 100 000 person years (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.53-2.71) for Netherlands Antilleans and 1.09 (95% CI: 1.04-1.15) for native Dutch. The age-and sex-adjusted IRR was 1.21 (95% CI: 0.58-2.54).
Conclusion: Contrary to the Netherlands Antilles, in the Netherlands AN is as common among Netherlands Antilleans as among native Dutch. Exposure to the Western idealization of thinness is a risk factor for the development of AN, possibly in interaction with migration-related stress. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.