The long-term follow-up by the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, does, however, show some encouraging results.
The study was initiated in 1985. A total of 51 teenagers with anorexia nervosa were studied, together with an equally large control group of healthy persons. The groups have been investigated and compared several times as the years have passed.
"This study is unique in an international perspective. It is the only study in the world that reflects the natural course of anorexia nervosa in the population", says Elisabet Wentz, Associate Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Sahlgrenska Academy.
The research group has published new results from the study in two scientific journals: the British Journal of Psychiatry and the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
Three women have still not recovered from anorexia, 18 years after the start of the study. Thirteen people, or around 25%, are on disability benefit or have been signed off sick for more than six months due to an eating disorder or other psychiatric disorder.. Thirty-nine percent have at least one other psychiatric disorder, in addition to the eating disorder. The most common of these is obsessive compulsive disorder.But the results also contain some positive surprises.
"None of the women who had had children still suffered from an eating disorder, but it is still more common that they worry about whether their babies are putting on weight", says Elisabet Wentz.BRIEF FACTS: ANOREXIA NERVOSA
About 4000 undergraduate students and 1000 postgraduate students are enrolled at Sahlgrenska Academy. The staff is about 1500 persons. 850 of them are researchers and/or teachers.Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry
Authors: Wentz E, Gillberg IC, Anckarsäter H, Gillberg C, Råstam M.For more information, contact:
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgElin Lindström Claessen
Helena Aaberg | idw
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