Eating Disorders Steal Years Off One’s LifePosted on May 25th, 2012 | No Comments
According to the most recent figures released by a United Nations report, an average person across the world can expect to live to around 67 years of age. However, those with eating disorders can expect less than that. A new study conducted at Finland’s Helsinki University Central Hospital shows that eating disorders will send you to an early grave.
Researchers at the hospital examined over 2300 women and 100 men who were admitted for eating disorders during the 15 year period from 1995 to 2010. There was also a control group consisting of four people for every individual. Results of the study were shared at this year’s annual American Psychiatric Association meeting.
Most of the individuals in the study were treated on an outpatient basis, but some had longer stays. Whereas over 80 percent were treated as outpatient, nearly half of those suffering from anorexia had to be cared for as inpatient, showing the serious nature of the disease and the toll it takes on the body.
In fact, of the eating disorders studied – anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating – anorexia was the most lethal. The study showed that those with anorexia nervosa (AN) were six times more likely to die prematurely than their control counterparts. Bulimia was associated with a three-fold increase of early death, and binge eaters increased their risk by about two percent.
And, aside from the obvious damage that eating disorders have on the body, they also deteriorate the mind. The study indicated that those with anorexia and bulimia are at higher risk of suicide.
Results of the study support prior research on the subject, confirming that those with eating disorders are at higher risk of early death, with anorexia being the most serious. Researchers were not surprised by the results of the study because of the lasting, devastating effects these disorders have on those afflicted with them.