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Keywords:

  • bulimia nervosa;
  • eating disorder NOS;
  • outcome;
  • prevalence

Abstract

Objective

This study reports 20-year outcome of bulimia nervosa (BN) and related eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) and point prevalence of BN and EDNOS for a cohort of women and men in late adolescence (mean age = 20 ± 2 years), adulthood (30 ± 2 years), and mid-life (40 ± 2 years).

Method

N = 654 women and men, 73% of those assessed in 1982, completed 20-year follow-up in a two-stage design including questionnaires and structured clinical interviews.

Results

Approximately 75% of women with BN were in remission at 20-year follow-up, and outcome did not differ significantly between BN and EDNOS. Eating disorder point prevalence declined in women but not men from late adolescence to mid-life.

Discussion

Despite patterns of improvement in women, 4.5% reported a clinically significant eating disorder at mid-life, suggesting the need for more research on potential risk factors in this age group, such as pressures for women to maintain a youthful appearance. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010; 43:492–497