Suicide attempts in anorexia nervosa

About this resource

Objective: To explore prevalence and patterns of suicidal attempts in persons with anorexia nervosa (AN). Methods: Participants were the first 432 persons (22 male, 410 female) enrolled in the NIH funded Genetics of Anorexia Nervosa Collaborative Study. All participants had current or lifetime AN. The participants ranged in age from 16 to 76 (mean Ï­ 30.4, SD Ï­ 11.3). Suicidal behavior and intent was assessed via the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies. We compared frequency and severity of attempts across diagnostic subtypes and comorbidity, and personality features associated with the presence of suicide attempts in persons with AN. Results: About 16.9 % of those with AN attempted suicide. Significantly fewer persons with the restricting subtype (7.4 % ) reported at least one attempt than those with purging AN (26.1 % ), AN with binge eating (29.3 % ), and a mixed picture of AN and bulimia nervosa (21.2 % ). After controlling for major depression, suicide attempts were associated with substance abuse, impulsive behaviors and traits, Cluster B personality disorders, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as low self-directedness and eating disorder severity. Conclusions: Suicide attempts in AN are not uncommon, are frequently associated with the intention to die, occur less frequently in persons with the restricting subtype of the illness, and after controlling for depression are associated with a constellation of behaviors and traits associated with behavioral and affective dyscontrol.

AuthorBulik, Cynthia M.; Thornton, Laura; Plotnicov, Katherine; Klump, Kelly L.; Brandt, Harry; Crawford, Steve; Fichter, Manfred M.; Halmi, Katherine A.; Johnson, Craig; Kaplan, Allan S.; Mitchell, James; Nutzinger, Detlev; Strober, Michael; Treasure, Janet; W
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume70(8):378-383
Year2008

See also

Eating disorders and psychosis

Comorbidity of anxiety and mood disorders were much more studied than comorbidity of psychosis in the eating disorders and findings on this issue largely limited to case series.

Read more

Eating disorders in the general practice: a case-control study on the utilization of primary care.

Objective: To investigate primary care utilization between patients with an eating disorder (ED) and other patient groups, and between the ED subgroups anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN).

Read more

Obsessions are strongly related to eating disorder symptoms in anorexia nervosa and atypical anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa (AN) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are highly comorbid.

Read more

The implications of previous history of anorexia nervosa in patients with current bulimia nervosa: Alterations in daily functioning, decision-making, and bone status.

OBJECTIVE: It is not yet clear what role previous history of anorexia nervosa (AN) plays in the clinical course of bulimia nervosa (BN).

Read more

Help us improve!

Give us feedback!

We will continue throughout 2020 to update and improve the NEDC website and welcome any feedback you may have on the site.

Provide feedback