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Int J Eat Disord. 1996 May;19(4):335-45.

Course and outcome in adolescent anorexia nervosa.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.



To investigate course, outcome, and psychiatric comorbidity in adolescent anorexia nervosa by repeated follow-up assessment.


Thirty-four subjects (88%) of an original sample of 39 inpatients were followed up personally 3 and 7 years after discharge and classified according to DSM-III-R eating disorder categories. Standardized psychometric instruments were used to assess specific eating disorder symptoms, concomitant general psychopathology, and comorbid psychiatric diagnoses.


After 7 years, 1 patient (3%) had anorexia nervosa, 4 patients (12%) bulimia nervosa, and 10 patients (29%) eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Anxiety disorders (41%) and affective disorders (18%) were the most prevalent comorbid psychiatric disorders. Concomitant general psychopathology was significantly related to the outcome of the eating disorder.


According to our results, the majority of former adolescent anorexic inpatients had shown substantial improvement in their eating disorders symptomatology after 7 years. Patients with persisting eating disorders mostly suffered from restrictive symptoms. The prevalence and distribution of psychiatric comorbidity were similar to those of adult-onset anorexia nervosa. Subjects with a worse outcome of the eating disorder also displayed higher levels of general psychopathology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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