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September 1977

Anorexia Nervosa: An Affective Disorder?

Author Affiliations

From the Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(9):1087-1093. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770210101009

• Follow-up data on 26 patients hospitalized during adolescence for anorexia nervosa are presented. The mean length of follow-up was 4.9 years. There were no mortalities. Only one patient at the time of follow-up was still possibly anorexic. However, a substantial number of the patients did have other eating difficulties. Most striking was the clinical psychopathology present at follow-up, particularly the incidence of affective disorder. A large number of the patients manifested depressive symptomatology in both the premorbid and the postmorbid states, as well as at the time of follow-up. A family history of affective disorder was particularly common in the mothers of the anorexic patients. Data from this study are consistent with the hypothesis that there is a strong relationship between anorexia nervosa and affective disorder.

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