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Somatic problems and self-injurious behaviour 18 years after teenage-onset anorexia nervosa.

Journal article
Authors Elisabet Wentz
I Carina Gillberg
Henrik Anckarsäter
Christopher Gillberg
Maria Råstam
Published in European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume 21
Issue 8
Pages 421-432
ISSN 1018-8827
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 421-432
Language en
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


The aim of this study was to study long-term outcome of physical health and self-injurious behaviour (SIB) in anorexia nervosa (AN). Fifty-one adolescent-onset AN cases, originally recruited after community screening, and 51 matched controls (COMP) were interviewed regarding somatic problems and SIB and physically examined 18 years after AN onset, at mean age 32 years. Six individuals had an eating disorder (ED). No one had died. The AN group weighed less than the COMP group. The frequency of somatic problems did not differ between groups. Dental enamel lesions and shorter than expected stature occurred only in the AN group. Dysdiadochokinesis was overrepresented in the AN group and age of AN onset was lower among those with the neurological deficit. Severe SIB occurred only in the AN group, predominantly during adolescence. To conclude, somatic problems were common in both groups. Most individuals in the AN group had recovered from their ED, but weight revealed a persistent restricted eating behaviour.

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