Bulimia Facts & Statistics

What are the Facts About Bulimia Nervosa?

You may know that bulimia is a complex eating disorder. But you may not know about the intense secrecy associated with this illness: bulimia sufferers work constantly to hide their bingeing and purging behaviors from others.

Here are some additional facts about bulimia nervosa:

  • 5 percent of American women suffer from bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.1

  • Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) for Bulimia Nervosa is 1.93 (SMR is a ratio between the observed number of deaths in an study population and the number of deaths would be expected).2

  • Nearly half of bulimia patients have a comorbid mood disorder. 3

  • More than half of bulimia patients have comorbid anxiety disorders. 3

  • 1 in 10 bulimia patients have a comorbid substance abuse disorder, usually alcohol use. 3

By shining a light on bulimia's life-threatening consequences and its pervasiveness, we hope to help increase awareness of this debilitating illness and to encourage those who suffer to get help. With proper treatment, recovery from bulimia is possible!

Call us with questions about bulimia

Recovery from bulimia begins with a single conversation. If you are feeling isolated and suffering from this illness – or if you suspect that someone else is suffering – we urge you to reach out for help.

To speak confidentially with one of our Masters-level clinicians, call us today at 877-825-8584. There is no cost for the call. 

Specialized care for bulimia is available at our eating disorder treatment center — for diverse patients of all ages and all levels of care.

  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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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