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Reproduction and offspring status 18 years after teenage-onset anorexia nervosa--a controlled community-based study.

Journal article
Authors Elisabet Wentz
I Carina Gillberg
Henrik Anckarsäter
Christopher Gillberg
Maria Råstam
Published in International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 42
Issue 6
Pages 483-491
ISSN 0276-3478
Publication year 2009
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 483-491
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Adult, Anorexia Nervosa, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Cross-Sectional Studies, Depression, Postpartum, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Developmental Disabilities, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Family Characteristics, Female, Fetal Growth Retardation, Epidemiology, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Longitudinal Studies, Personality Inventory, Statistics & numerical data, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Psychology, Prospective Studies, Psychometrics, Reference Values, Social Adjustment, Young Adult
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


OBJECTIVE: To study reproduction in a representative group of anorexia nervosa (AN) cases. METHOD:: Fifty-one adolescent-onset AN cases (48 women; three men), originally recruited after community screening, and 51 matched comparison cases (COMP) were interviewed 18 years after AN onset at a mean age of 32 years, regarding pregnancies and early development of the children. RESULTS:: The results of the 48 AN and 48 COMP group women are reported in the present study. Six women still had an eating disorder (ED), none of whom had become a mother. Twenty-seven women in the AN group and 31 women in the COMP group had children. Three women had an ED during pregnancy. Mean age at birth of the first child was lower in the AN group. Five AN women reported postpartum depression. Children in the AN group had significantly lower birth weight than the children in the COMP group. No other complications during pregnancy and the neonatal period differed across groups. Feeding difficulties were not overrepresented among the children of the AN group. DISCUSSION:: Adults who had recovered from teenage-onset AN did not differ in most aspects from matched controls with respect to pregnancies and development of their offspring.

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