Eating Disorders: Medical Complications

Eating disorders are serious mental health disorders that are associated with wide-ranging and severe medical sequelae. One eating disorder in particular, anorexia nervosa, has the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder. Females with anorexia nervosa have a 12-fold higher rate of mortality than their age-matched peers. Unfortunately, eating disorders often go undetected. Symptoms associated with eating disorders can be mistaken for other health problems, and patients frequently do not spontaneously disclose their disordered eating to a health professional.

Despite the significant morbidity and mortality resulting from eating disorders, estimates suggest that only about 10% of those affected receive the treatment they need. This discrepancy is significant as eating disorders can cause serious morbidity affecting virtually every organ system. Eating disorders comprise at least one ...

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