"If I were a parent of a child, or a spouse of an adult with anorexia
nervosa, what this report would provide to me is evidence to use for lobbying
for longer and better medical care, even in the face of limitations in health
care resources," Cheryl L. Rock, PhD, RD, tells WebMD. "This illness
may be more rare than something like breast cancer, but the total cost is
enormous if not caught early and managed well." Rock is associate professor
in the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of
California, San Diego.
Zipfel says it's important that treatment of severely ill patients "be
handled by an experienced and multidisciplinary treatment team in a specialty
center." ANRED recommends that persons with eating disorders "get into
treatment and stay there."
- After a 21-year follow-up, researchers studying 77 patients with anorexia
nervosa report one in four had a poor outcome. However, about half had
recovered fully from the disease.
- Patients with a poor outcome waited longer to get treatment, failed to gain
adequate weight while hospitalized, and had severe psychological and social
- Observers note anorexia nervosa is a serious disease with a high death rate
if untreated. Family members and doctors should intervene when people show the
early signs of the disease, in order to increase chances of successful