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Two-Thirds With Anorexia, Bulimia Recover in Long-Term


HealthDay News
Updated: Dec 27th 2016

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TUESDAY, Dec. 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of females with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa achieve recovery by the time of follow-up at 22 years, with earlier recovery for bulimia nervosa, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Kamryn T. Eddy, Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined early- and long-term recovery in females with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Participants were assessed at nine and 20 to 25 years of follow-up (mean, 22.1 years) via structured clinical interview. Seventy-seven percent of the original cohort was re-interviewed and all 228 surviving participants from the original cohort were included using multiple imputation.

The researchers found that 62.8 and 68.2 percent of participants with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, respectively, recovered at 22-year follow-up, compared with 31.4 and 68.2 percent, respectively, who had recovered by the nine-year follow-up. Of those with anorexia nervosa who had not recovered by nine years, about half progressed to recovery by 22 years. In anorexia nervosa, but not bulimia nervosa, early recovery correlated with increased likelihood of long-term recovery (odds ratios, 10.5 [95 percent confidence interval, 3.77 to 29.28] and 1.0 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.49 to 2.05], respectively).

"Recovery from bulimia nervosa happened earlier, but recovery from anorexia nervosa continued over the long term, arguing against the implementation of palliative care for most individuals with eating disorders," the authors write.

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