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Ten-year follow-up of adolescent-onset anorexia nervosa: psychiatric disorders and overall functioning scales.

Journal article
Authors Elisabet Wentz
Christopher Gillberg
I Carina Gillberg
Maria Råstam
Published in Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines
Volume 42
Issue 5
Pages 613-622
ISSN 0021-9630
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Pages 613-622
Language en
Keywords Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Adult, Age of Onset, Anorexia Nervosa, Epidemiology, Therapy, Case-Control Studies, Chronic Disease, Comorbidity, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Epidemiology, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Prevalence, Prospective Studies, Social Adjustment, Sweden, Epidemiology
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


The aim of this study was to assess prospectively the long-term outcome in a representative sample of teenage-onset anorexia nervosa (AN) in respect of psychiatric disorders and overall outcome. Fifty-one AN cases, recruited by community screening, with a mean age of onset of 14 years, was contrasted with 51 matched comparison cases at a mean age of 24 years (10 years after AN onset). All 102 cases had been examined at ages 16 and 21 years. At 24 years all probands were interviewed regarding psychiatric disorders (SCID-I) and overall outcome (Morgan-Russell assessment schedule, the GAF). There were no deaths at 10-year follow-up. One in four in the AN group had a persisting eating disorder (ED), including three who still had anorexia nervosa. Lifetime diagnoses of affective disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder were over-represented in the AN group. Outcome according to Morgan-Russell was poor in 27%, intermediate in 29%, and good in 43%. According to the GAF, half the AN group had a poor psychosocial functioning. These were subjects with either a persisting ED or lifelong problems with social interaction or obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Ten-year outcome of teenage-onset AN is favourable in the majority of cases; most individuals have recovered from their ED and have no other axis I disorder. However, half the AN group reported poor psychosocial outcome, in most cases explained by a persisting ED or chronic obsessive-compulsive behaviour/social interaction problems.

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