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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan;61(1):119-22. Epub 2006 Aug 2.

Long-term mortality in anorexia nervosa: a report after an 8-year follow-up and a review of the most recent literature.

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  • 11Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Interuniversity Centre for Obesity and Eating Disorders, University Federico II, Naples, Italy.



To evaluate long-term mortality rate of anorexia nervosa (AN) patients in a southern Italy population compared to the most recent literature.


Retrospective and review setting.


One hundred and forty-seven female AN patients, consecutively admitted from 1994 to 1997 to the Outpatient Unit, were re-examined between June and November 2003. Our data are compared with 10 other studies published since 1988.


One hundred and twenty-three deaths in 2240 patients, amounting to a total mortality rate of 5.25% were reported in the literature. Deaths due to suicide, AN-related and AN-unrelated diseases were 1.20, 3.07 and 0.98%, respectively. After correcting for unrelated deaths, mortality rate was 4.27%. In our 8-year follow-up, we found a mortality rate of 2.72% (1.82% after correcting for unrelated deaths). Standardized mortality ratio was 9.7.


We interpret our favourable findings as a consequence of an integrated, clinical-nutritional and psychiatric approach. Finally, considering AN demographic characteristics, that is young female subjects in Westernized societies, mortality rate is confirmed to be dramatically high.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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