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Am J Psychiatry. 1987 Sep;144(9):1172-7.

A 20-month follow-up study of 628 women with eating disorders, I: Course and severity.


A national sample of 628 women with eating disorders completed questionnaires in 1982 and again in 1984. According to initial simulated DSM-III diagnoses, 34 had anorexia nervosa with bulimic features, 392 had normal-weight bulimia, and 202 had a subdiagnostic eating disorder. Most respondents in the latter two groups met some criteria for alternative eating disorders. At follow-up, 29% of the anorexia nervosa group and 43% of the normal-weight bulimia group had improved enough to be classified as having a subdiagnostic disorder. Respondents who sought professional help between the initial survey and follow-up reported no more improvement than those who did not seek help.

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