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Eating Disorders Common in Girls With Type 1 Diabetes

By age 25 years, cumulative probability of onset of eating disorder is 60 percent

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For girls and young women with type 1 diabetes, eating disorders are common and persistent, according to a study published online April 17 in Diabetes Care.

Patricia A. Colton, M.D., from the University Health Network in Toronto, and colleagues describe the longitudinal course of disturbed eating behavior (DEB) and eating disorders in 126 girls with type 1 diabetes. The girls participated in a series of seven interview-based assessments of eating disorder behavior and psychopathology over a 14-year period.

The researchers found that the mean age was 11.8 and 23.7 years at time 1 and time 7, respectively. At time 7, 32.4 and 8.5 percent of participants met the criteria for a current eating disorder and had a subthreshold eating disorder, respectively. The mean age at eating disorder onset was 22.6 years, and by age 25 years the cumulative probability of onset was 60 percent. There was an average of 4.3 years between onset of eating disorder and subsequent eating disorder remission; by six years after onset, the cumulative probability of remission was 79 percent. There was an average of 6.5 years between remission of eating disorder and subsequent recurrence; by six years after remission, the cumulative probability of recurrence was 53 percent.

"Future research should focus on the development and testing of strategies for the prevention and treatment of DEB and eating disorders in this high-risk group," the authors write.

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