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Depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in relation to nutritional status and outcome in severe anorexia nervosa

, : Depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in relation to nutritional status and outcome in severe anorexia nervosa. Psychiatry Research 200(2-3): 513-517

Depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder are frequently reported to co-occur with anorexia nervosa (AN). There is clinical consensus that depressive symptoms and anxiety may in part be sequelae of malnutrition in AN. However, evidence-based data are still very rare. The present study among severe AN patients investigates links between these psychological variants and nutritional status at admission and subsequent to nutritional rehabilitation. Twenty-four women with AN diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV) were included prospectively and consecutively at hospitalisation. Nutritional status was assessed by body mass index (BMI). Several psychological aspects were assessed using various scales for depression, anxiety, social phobia, obsessive and eating behaviour symptoms. Follow-up weights and heights at 4 12 years after hospital discharge were measured in 18 patients. BMI and all the scores except the Yale-Brown obsessive compulsive scale (Y-BOCS) showed significant improvement between admission and discharge. This study highlights the fact that some of the depressive and anxiety symptoms at least partially decrease with nutrition rehabilitation. The improvement in the scores on the psychometric scales between admission and discharge was not correlated with BMI improvement. Psychometric scores at admission and at discharge were not correlated with BMI at follow-up. BMI at follow-up was correlated with minimum lifetime BMI (r=.486, P=.4). Future studies should use a better indicator for nutritional status than BMI alone, and should also consider the initial degree of weight loss and the rate at which weight was lost.


PMID: 22703719

DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.04.032

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