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June 9, 2004

Risks and Benefits of Severe Caloric Restriction

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(22):2704. doi:10.1001/jama.291.22.2704-a

To the Editor: Drs Michels and Ekbom1 concluded that severe caloric restriction in humans may confer protection from invasive breast cancer. I am concerned, however, that these findings may inadvertently imply that anorexia nervosa can have health benefits. Anorexia nervosa is a serious illness, with as many as 15.6% of patients dying from disease-related causes within 21 years of first hospitalization.2

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