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Br J Psychiatry. 1992 Jul;161:104-7.

Long-term mortality in anorexia nervosa. A 20-year follow-up of the St George's and Aberdeen cohorts.

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  • 1St George's Hospital Medical School, Department of Mental Health Sciences, London.


Two cohorts of anorexia nervosa patients were followed up for a mean of 20 years. All except 4% of each cohort was traced. The crude mortalities were: St George's, 4%; Aberdeen, 13%. The SMRs were: St George's, 136; Aberdeen, 471. If the untraced were assumed to be dead, crude mortalities were 7.6% and 15.9% respectively, and SMRs were 276 and 592 respectively. Causes of death were complications of the illness and suicide. Medical treatment may reduce early mortality, while comprehensive medical and psychotherapeutic treatment may reduce late mortality.

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