Somatic problems and self-injurious behaviour 18 years after teenage-onset anorexia nervosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to study long-term
outcome of physical health and self-injurious behaviour
(SIB) in anorexia nervosa (AN). Fifty-one adolescent-onset
AN cases, originally recruited after community screening,
and 51 matched controls (COMP) were interviewed
regarding somatic problems and SIB and physically
examined 18 years after AN onset, at mean age 32 years.
Six individuals had an eating disorder (ED). No one had
died. The AN group weighed less than the COMP group.
The frequency of somatic problems did not differ between
groups. Dental enamel lesions and shorter than expected
stature occurred only in the AN group. Dysdiadochokinesis
was overrepresented in the AN group and age of AN onset
was lower among those with the neurological deficit.
Severe SIB occurred only in the AN group, predominantly
during adolescence. To conclude, somatic problems were
common in both groups. Most individuals in the AN group
had recovered from their ED, but weight revealed a persistent
restricted eating behaviour.


  • Elisabet Wentz
  • I Carina Gillberg
  • Henrik Anckarsäter
  • Christopher Gillberg
  • Maria Råstam
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry


  • Anorexia nervosa, Adolescent-onset, Physical health, Self-injurious behaviour, Follow-up, Community-based
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-432
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch