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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2005 Mar;14(2):106-10.

Depression, anxiety, and obsessionality in long-term recovered patients with adolescent-onset anorexia nervosa.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Technical University of Aachen, Neuenhofer Weg 21, 52074 Aachen, Germany.


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is frequently associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive behavior which also develop secondary to semistarvation. It is less certain if these symptoms persist after recovery. A few studies have already reported on high prevalence rates of anxious, depressive, and obsessive features in long-term recovered patients with AN, but several of these so called "long-term" recovered patients had only maintained weight restoration for six to twelve months. The aim of this study was to determine whether depressive, anxious, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms persist in truly long-term recovered patients (BMI 20.3+/-2.5 kg/m(2)) who no longer had any eating disorder symptoms (including weight phobia) for at least 3 years. Seventeen subjects of an AN sample (n=39) previously described in a 10-year follow-up met our strict criteria of at least 3 years of complete recovery of AN. In comparison to 39 age-, sex-, and occupation-matched healthy subjects without a history of psychiatric or eating disorder, long-term recovered patients had higher levels of depressive (p=0.002), anxious (p=0.006), and obsessive-compulsive (p=0.015) features but did not differ with regard to psychiatric morbidity and psychosocial adaptation. In conclusion, depressive, anxious, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms may be personality traits in subjects with former adolescent anorexia nervosa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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