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Keywords:

  • laxative abuse;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • self-esteem

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of the current study was to examine the association between laxative abuse and other symptoms and features among adult patients presenting with anorexia nervosa.

Method

One hundred and seventeen patients with anorexia nervosa were studied. Laxative abusers and nonabusers were compared.

Results

Compared with nonabusers, laxative-abusing patients had higher ratings on the Ineffectiveness, Body Dissatisfaction, and Drive for Thinness subscales on the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI), as well as more depressive and somatization symptoms. There was an association between laxative abuse and low self-esteem.

Discussion

Laxative abuse appears to be associated with especially severe psychopathology and low self-esteem among subjects with anorexia nervosa. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 224–228, 2004.