Reproduction and offspring status 18 years after teenage-onset anorexia nervosa—A controlled community-based study

Authors

  • Elisabet Wentz MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
    2. The Vårdal Institute, the Swedish Institute for Health Sciences, Sweden
    • Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Göteborg University, Otterhällegatan 12 B, SE-411 18 Göteborg, Sweden
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  • I. Carina Gillberg MD, PhD,

    1. Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
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  • Henrik Anckarsäter MD, PhD,

    1. Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Forensic Psychiatry, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
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  • Christopher Gillberg MD, PhD,

    1. Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
    2. Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Strathclyde University, Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    3. Institute of Child Health, University College, London, United Kingdom
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  • Maria Råstam MD, PhD

    1. Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden
    2. Department of Clinical Sciences, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
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  • Parts of the manuscript have been presented at the International Congress on Eating Disorders, Barcelona 2006, the Eighth London International Conferences on Eating Disorders, 2007, and the 10th meeting of the European Council on Eating Disorders, Porto 2007.

Abstract

Objective:

To study reproduction in a representative group of anorexia nervosa (AN) cases.

Method:

Fifty-one adolescent-onset AN cases (48 women; three men), originally recruited after community screening, and 51 matched comparison cases (COMP) were interviewed 18 years after AN onset at a mean age of 32 years, regarding pregnancies and early development of the children.

Results:

The results of the 48 AN and 48 COMP group women are reported in the present study. Six women still had an eating disorder (ED), none of whom had become a mother. Twenty-seven women in the AN group and 31 women in the COMP group had children. Three women had an ED during pregnancy. Mean age at birth of the first child was lower in the AN group. Five AN women reported postpartum depression. Children in the AN group had significantly lower birth weight than the children in the COMP group. No other complications during pregnancy and the neonatal period differed across groups. Feeding difficulties were not overrepresented among the children of the AN group.

Discussion:

Adults who had recovered from teenage-onset AN did not differ in most aspects from matched controls with respect to pregnancies and development of their offspring. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009

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