Health care utilization in patients with eating disorders




To examine health care costs among patients with eating disorders (EDs) using the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota claims database system.


Four groups of individuals enrolled between 1999 and 2005 were identified: (1) a group diagnosed with EDs at the beginning of the study period, in 2000 or 2001; (2) a group diagnosed with EDs later in the study period, in 2004 or 2005; (3) a comparison group with depression; and (4) a non-eating disordered comparison group.


Health care costs were high for patients diagnosed with an ED during the period when the diagnosis was made but remained elevated in the years following. Such costs were consistently higher than those for the non-eating disordered comparison group, but similar to the depression comparison group.


Health care costs remained elevated after a diagnosis of an ED for an extended period of time. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009