Mortality and causes of death in eating disorders in Denmark 1970–1993: A case register study


  • Charlotte Emborg

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatric Demography, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark
    • Department of Psychiatric Demography, Institute for Basic Psychiatric Research, Psychiatric Hospital in Aarhus, The Aarhus University Hospital, Skovagervej 2, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark
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The aim of this study is to describe mortality rates and causes of death for patients with eating disorders.


By means of record-linkage, the study includes all patients admitted and diagnosed as suffering from an eating disorder according to the ICD-8 classification system during the period 1970–1993 at any Danish psychiatric (since 1970) or somatic department (since 1977). The study includes 2,763 cases, of which 237 are males. Maximum follow-up time is 23 years and mean follow-up time is 10.3 years.


Crude mortality at follow-up is 8.4%. A significant excess mortality is demonstrated since the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of the total patient population is 6.69 (CI 5.68–7.83) and the highest rate ratio (RR) of 14.92 (CI 9.66–22.03) relates to women aged 25–29.


The study documents a significant excess mortality among eating-disordered patients. © 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 25: 243–251, 1999.