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Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Feb;194(2):168-74. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.048686.

Adolescent-onset anorexia nervosa: 18-year outcome.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Göteborg University, Otterhällegatan 12 B, SE-411 18 Göteborg, Sweden. elisabet.wentz@vgregion.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The long-term outcome of anorexia nervosa is insufficiently researched.

AIMS:

To study prospectively the long-term outcome and prognostic factors in a representative sample of people with teenage-onset anorexia nervosa.

METHOD:

Fifty-one people with anorexia nervosa, recruited by community screening and with a mean age at onset of 14 years were compared with 51 matched comparison individuals at a mean age of 32 years (18 years after disorder onset). All participants had been examined at ages 16 years, 21 years and 24 years. They were interviewed for Axis I psychiatric disorders and overall outcome (Morgan-Russell assessment schedule and the Global Assessment of Functioning).

RESULTS:

There were no deaths. Twelve per cent (n=6) had a persisting eating disorder, including three with anorexia nervosa. Thirty-nine per cent of the anorexia nervosa group met the criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder. The general outcome was poor in 12%. One in four did not have paid employment owing to psychiatric problems. Poor outcome was predicted by premorbid obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, age at onset of anorexia nervosa and autistic traits.

CONCLUSIONS:

The 18-year outcome of teenage-onset anorexia nervosa is favourable in respect of mortality and persisting eating disorder.

PMID:
19182181
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.107.048686
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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