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Keywords:

  • course;
  • outcome;
  • prognosis;
  • mortality

Abstract

Objective:

To review recent studies describing eating disorder course and outcome.

Method:

Electronic and manual searches were conducted to identify relevant articles published since 2004.

Results:

Twenty-six articles were identified. For anorexia nervosa (AN), most patients ascertained through outpatient settings achieved remission by 5-year follow-up. Inpatient treatment predicted poor prognosis as inpatient samples demonstrated lower remission rates. Outcome differed between bulimia nervosa (BN) and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), including binge eating disorder (BED), for shorter follow-up durations; however, outcomes appeared similar between BN and related EDNOS by 5-year follow-up. Greater psychiatric comorbidity emerged as a significant predictor of poor prognosis in BN, whereas few prognostic indicators were identified for BED or other EDNOS.

Discussion:

Results support optimism for most patients with eating disorders. However, more effective treatments are needed for adult AN inpatients and approximately 30% of patients with BN and related EDNOS who remain ill 10–20 years following presentation. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010