- Explain to interested patients that many cases of anorexia go undetected by the health care system.
- Inform patients that the Finnish researchers found that almost 70% of young women with the eating disorder recovered within five years.
HELSINKI, Finland, Aug. 1 -- The prevalence of anorexia is greater than previously thought, but so is recovery, according to a Finnish twin study.
By age 30, up to 70% of Finnish women with anorexia nervosa had recovered from the eating disorder, Anna Keski-Rahkonen, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Helsinki and Columbia University, and colleagues reported in the Aug. 1 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
In the nationwide study of 2,881 women surveyed from the 1975-1979 birth cohorts, the researchers found anorexia rates to be twice as high as those previously cited.
Overall, they found that 2.2% had severe anorexia and, when less severe forms of the disorder (no amenorrhea, for example) were included, about 5% of women were afflicted with the eating disorder during their lifetime, the researchers said.