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What are the Facts About Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is an illness that impacts women, men, adolescents and children. It does not discriminate. It affects all ethnicities, cultures and socioeconomic groups. It is also the most deadly mental illness, with a higher mortality rate than any other mental illness. That’s why it’s important to understand the symptoms and complications of anorexia as well as the facts and statistics about anorexia.

  • 9 percent of American women will suffer from anorexia in their lifetime.1

  • 1 in 5 anorexia deaths is by suicide.2

  • Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) for Anorexia Nervosa is 5.86 (SMR is a ratio between the observed number of deaths in an study population and the number of deaths would be expected).2

  • 50 to 80 percent of the risk for anorexia is genetic.3

  • 33 to 50 percent of anorexia patients have a comorbid mood disorder, such as depression. Mood disorders are more common in the binge/purge subtype than in the restrictive subtype.4

  • About half of anorexia patients have comorbid anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia. 4

When treating anorexia, time is of the essence. It’s imperative that anyone exhibiting signs of anorexia get help as quickly as possible to minimize the physical complications associated with anorexia.

It's never too late to seek help

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, such as anorexia, please contact us at 877-825-8584 so we can schedule a free confidential consultation with one of our Masters-level clinician.

  1. Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G., & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348–358.
  2. Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. (2011). Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders: a meta-analysis of 36 studies. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 724-731.
  3. Trace, S. E., Baker, J. H., Peñas-Lledó, E., & Bulik, C. M. (2013). The genetics of eating disorders. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9, 589-620.
  4. Ulfvebrand, S., Birgegard, A., Norring, C., Hogdahl, L., & von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Y. (2015). Psychiatric comorbidity in women and men with eating disorders results from a large clinical database. Psychiatry Research, 230(2), 294-299.

Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center are accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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