Eating Disorders Associated With High Mortality Rates

Individuals with anorexia nervosa have the highest mortality rates

WEDNESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with eating disorders -- anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) -- have significantly increased mortality rates, with the highest rate in those with AN, according to a meta-analysis published in the July issue in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Jon Arcleus, Ph.D., from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues reviewed available literature published between 1966 and 2010, to compile and analyze the mortality rates in individuals with AN, BN, and EDNOS. A total of 36 quantitative studies reporting outcomes of AN during 166,642 person-years, BN during 32,798 person-years, and EDNOS during 22,644 person-years were included in the analysis.

The investigators identified the weighted mortality rates per 1,000 person-years to be 5.1 for AN, 1.7 for BN, and 3.3 for EDNOS, with standardized mortality ratios of 5.86 for AN, 1.93 for BN, and 1.92 for EDNOS. In the AN group, one in five individuals committed suicide.

"Individuals with eating disorders have significantly elevated mortality rates, with the highest rates occurring in those with AN. The mortality rates for BN and EDNOS are similar," the authors write.

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