Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Long-term prognosis for eating disorders

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are serious mental illnesses. Follow-up studies of people with eating disorders suggest a spectrum of outcomes ranging from recovery to death but there is no consensus definition of remission, recovery or relapse. Estimates of remission or recovery from anorexia range from 31% to 76% while estimates of remission or recovery from bulimia range from 21% to 75%. A long-term study of 901 people with eating disorders which defined recovery as three consecutive years without symptoms found that after 10 years 11% of people with anorexia and 10% of people with bulimia had made a full recovery. After 15 years 16% of people with anorexia and 25% of people with bulimia had recovered. Initially the probability of recovery was greater for those with anorexia but as time went on people with bulimia had a higher probability of recovery.

Von Holle, Ann ... [et al] - Temporal patterns of recovery from eating disorder subtypes Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry February 2008, 42(2), 108-117

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