gms | German Medical Science

3. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e. V. (DGESS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e. V.

23.02. - 25.02.2012, Hannover

Somatic co-morbidity in anorexia nervosa: First results of a 21-years follow-up study on female inpatients

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author L. Erdur - Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
  • B. Kallenbach-Dermutz
  • V. Lehmann
  • F. Zimmermann-Viehoff
  • W. Köpp
  • C. Webe
  • H.-C. Deter

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V. (DGESS). 3. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen. Hannover, 23.-25.02.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. Doc12dgess077

doi: 10.3205/12dgess077, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgess0770

Veröffentlicht: 8. Februar 2012

© 2012 Erdur et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Background: Anorexia nervosa is a severe psychosomatic disease with somatic complications in the long-term course and a high mortality rate. Somatic comorbidities independent of anorexia nervosa have rarely been studied, but pose a challenge to clinical practitioners. We investigated somatic comorbidities in an inpatient cohort and compared somatically ill anorexic patients and patients without a somatic comorbidity. In order to evaluate the impact of somatic comorbidity for the long-term course of anorexia nervosa, we monitored survival in a long-term follow-up.

Method: One hundred and sixty nine female inpatients with anorexia nervosa were treated at the Charité university medical centre, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, between 1979 and 2011. We conducted retrospective analyses using patient’s medical and psychological records. Information on survival and mortality were required through the local registration office and was available for one hundred patients. The mean follow-up interval for this subgroup was m=20.9 years (sd=4.7, min=13.3, max=31.6, range=18.3). We conducted survival analysis using cox regression and included somatic comorbidity in a multivariate model.

Results: N=41 patients (24.3%) showed a somatic comorbidity, n=13 patients (7.7%) showed somatic comorbidities related to anorexia nervosa and n=26 patients (15.4%) showed somatic comorbidities independent of anorexia nervosa, n=2 patients showed somatic complications related to other psychiatric disorders. Patients with a somatic comorbidity were significantly older (m=29.5, sd=10.3 vs m=25.0, sd=8.7; p=.006), showed a later anorexia nervosa onset (m=24.8, sd=9.9 vs. m=18.6, sd=5.1; p<.000) and a longer duration of treatment in our clinic (m=66.6, sd=50.3 vs. m=50.0, sd=47; p=.05) than inpatients without somatic comorbidity. Out of 100 patients, 9 patients (9%) had died, on average at age of m=37 years (sd=9.5). Mortality was more common among inpatients with somatic comorbidity (n=6, 66.7%) than among inpatients without a somatic disease (n=3, 33.3%; p=.03). Somatic comorbidity was a significant coefficient in a multivariate survival model (B=2.32, p=.04).

Conclusion: Somatic comorbidity seems to be an important factor for anorexia nervosa outcome and should be included in multivariate analyses on the long-term course of anorexia nervosa as independent variable. Further investigations are needed in order to understand in which way anorexia nervosa and a somatic disease can interact.