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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • vaccination;
  • influenza A virus H1N1 subtype;
  • ELISA

Abstract

Objective:

In anorexia nervosa (AN) patients immunologic alterations are known, although their clinical significance remains a matter of debate. Currently, no recommendation can be given on the safety and immunogenicity of indicated vaccinations in this malnourished population.

Method:

In this exploratory study, 10 AN patients' (eight female, two male, mean age 31.1 years, SD 16.3 years; mean BMI 14.8 kg/m2, SD 1.6 kg/m2) antibody levels against H1N1 influenza were measured before vaccination, and were followed-up for two and three weeks after vaccination. They were compared with the immunological response in normal weight population, as reported in the literature. Clinical and socio-demographical data were collected.

Results:

In the AN group, H1N1 vaccination showed to be sufficiently immunogenic and safe, comparable to published data of normal weight population.

Discussion:

The findings provide preliminary evidence that vaccination seems recommendable even in extremely underweight AN patients. Further studies are needed to corroborate the present findings. © 2011 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)