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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • classification;
  • longitudinal;
  • crossover;
  • recovery

Abstract

Objective:

To determine whether a past diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN) predicts longitudinal course and outcome among women with bulimia nervosa (BN).

Method:

A subset (n = 176) of participants in the Longitudinal Study of Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa who met DSM-IV criteria for BN either at study intake (n = 144) or during follow-up (n = 32; 4 had restricting AN at intake, 28 had binge/purge AN at intake) were included in this report. Over a median of 9 years, weekly eating disorder symptom data were collected from participants using the Longitudinal Interview Follow-up Examination, Eating Disorders Version.

Results:

While there were no between-group differences in likelihood of partial recovery, women with BN who had a history of AN were more likely to have a protracted illness, relapsing into AN during follow-up, compared to those with no AN history who were more likely to move from partial to full recovery.

Conclusion:

Lifetime AN is an important prognostic indicator among women with BN and these longitudinal data would support the subtyping of BN on the basis of AN history. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007