Course of Illness

Long-term follow-up research indicates that about one fourth of those with AN recover from the disorder, one fourth stay chronically ill with no improvement, and about half have partial improvement. Most of the latter have bulimic behaviors. Mortality rates at 10 years are 6.6% and at 30 years are 18% to 20% after presentation for treatment (Eckert et al., 1995).

Patients with an earlier onset, between ages 13 and 18, recover from the disorder more quickly. Most studies have found purging behavior to be a poor outcome predictor.

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