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Eating disorders are more prevalent than expected in women during midlife, study finds

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 17 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j264
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

The prevalence of eating disorders in women in midlife is higher than expected, a study published in BMC Medicine has found, as 3.6% of women in their 40s and 50s reported having experienced an eating disorder in the past 12 months.1

Eating disorders are often associated with adolescence and early adulthood, but the study, which assessed the prevalence of eating disorders in the fifth and sixth decades of life, found that they were surprisingly common and frequently went untreated.

The study included 5320 UK women, of whom around 15.3% (95% confidence interval 13.5% to 17.4%) reported having had an eating disorder at some point in life, and less than 30% of those said that they had sought help or received treatment for it.

Nadia Micali, lead author, …

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