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UPDATE: Adequate Weight Restoration Improves AN Prognosis

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
January/February 2000 Volume 11, Number 1
©2000 Gürze Books

Hospitalized patients with anorexia nervosa who reach a body mass index (BMI) of 19 kg/m2 or above have better total bone mineral density and are healthier psychologically than patients released at lower weights, according to Australian researchers. Dr. G. Gross and colleagues followed 61 female patients hospitalized for treatment of anorexia nervosa, and were able to gather data on 50 (80%). Most women who achieved a BMI of 19 or more during hospitalization had a good overall outcome, with restoration of weight and reproductive function. They had better total bone density and better results on a number of psychological tests than women who were discharged from the hospital with lower weights. Total body nitrogen was restored in most patients (the average nitrogen index was 0.97). Total bone mineral density remained below optimal in all women who had a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) measurement, and total body potassium was reduced when compared with age-matched normal controls. Although most women no longer met the criteria for AN in terms of low weight and amenorrhea, a low discharge weight seemed to correlate with persisting concerns about body shape and weight. The study was reported at the annual meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society in San Diego in November.


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