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Eating Disorders Increase Likelihood of Death


According to a new study, anorexia tends to increase a given person’s risk of death fivefold. Further, sufferers dealing with bulimia or other unspecified eating disorder are twice as likely to die as their counterparts with no such disorders.

As per the results of the study, one in every five deaths among anorexics could be attributed to suicide. The other deaths, however, came as a result of the unfortunate impact that eating disorders typically have on the body.

"Of course, eating disorders have serious physical consequences," said lead author Jon Arcelus, of Loughborough University in the UK.

"The study could not identify how people died, but there is no doubt that the reasons behind this are related to the physical problems of the illness," he wrote to Reuters Health in an email, which they noted in a recent piece.

In order to come to their findings, Arcelus and his researchers analyzed 36 studies published between the years of 1966 and 2010. In the data it was noted that of 17,000 people dealing with an eating disorder of some sort, 755 died. Further, the analysis showed that five of every 1,000 people with anorexia died ever year – a total five times greater than what is the case in the general population among people without eating disorders.

"Almost all centers only treat (the) anorexia, not the other disorder. Unless both are treated, they won't get better," he told Reuters Health.

"This sort of study reminds people that a significant percentage of people die of this disorder."

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