Bulimia Facts & Statistics

How Prevalent is Bulimia Nervosa? Get the Facts & Statistics

Bulimia is a complex eating disorder shrouded in secrecy. Sufferers work hard to hide their bingeing and purging behaviors from others.

By shining a light on bulimia's life-threatening consequences and its pervasiveness, we can help increase awareness. Here are some facts and statistics about the prevalence of 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

We’re here to start the conversation with you

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

Specialized care is available at our eating disorder treatment center. Please call one of our Masters-level clinicians today at 877-825-8584.

  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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