Huffpost Healthy Living

Anorexia Death Risk Five Times Higher

Posted: Updated:

People with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa are five times more likely to die over a year-long period than people without an eating disorder, according to a new review of studies on the effects of eating disorders on the body.

Those with other eating disorders, including bulimia, are twice as likely to die over a year-long period than those without an eating disorder, according to the studies in the Archives of General Psychiatry review.

Anorexics typically starve themselves and/or over-exercise to keep their weight at a far-below-normal level. Complications from the disease include heart problems, bone loss, kidney and gastrointestinal problems and anemia.

Researchers from Loughborough University in the UK analyzed 36 studies that were published between 1966 and 2010, Reuters reported. The studies included a total of of 17,000 people with an eating disorder; among those people, 755 died.

The researchers were unable to find a singular cause of death for these people, but did say that suicide and the overall effects of the disease on the body are factors, CBS News reported.

It's also possible that some treatment facilities may only treat the anorexia, but not other psychiatric disorders, like depression or obsessive compulsive disorder, which could also contribute to the high death rate.

Past studies -- including one published in 2005 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders -- also confirm a high death rate associated with anorexia nervosa.


Around the Web

Anorexia: The Body Neglected

Eating disorders - Complications of Anorexia

Anorexia, Bulemia Significantly Increase Risk of Death

Eating Disorders Appear to Raise Risk of Death

From Our Partners