Medical morbidity and risk of general hospital admission associated with concurrent anorexia nervosa and COVID-19: An observational study

Anthony P Winston, Michael J Taylor, Hubertus Himmerich, Mohammad A A Ibrahim, Uju Okereke, Robert Wilson

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Investigate medical morbidity and risk of general hospital admission for patients with concurrent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and anorexia nervosa (AN) who have not received severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccination.

METHODS: United Kingdom eating disorders clinicians contributed to a database of patients with an eating disorder and COVID-19. We used this to investigate demography, symptoms, hospitalization, treatment, and outcomes for those with AN.

RESULTS: We describe data for 49 patients (median age 21.5 years [interquartile range 17.0-33.5], 46 female) including 36 adults and 13 under-18-year-olds. Three (6.1% [95% confidence interval 1.3%-17.9]) were admitted to a general hospital. For this sample, the expected age-standardized hospital admission rate per COVID-19 case (based on the general population of England) was 2.6% and therefore not significantly different to the hospitalization rate we observed. Three (including two of those admitted to hospital) contracted pneumonia. One had severe pneumonia and was admitted to an intensive care unit. No deaths or use of mechanical ventilation were recorded.

DISCUSSION: To our knowledge, this represents the first study investigating medical morbidity or frequency of hospitalization for patients with COVID-19 and AN. We did not find evidence that patients with AN are at increased risk of severe COVID-19.

PUBLIC SIGNIFICANCE: Medical morbidity and risk of hospitalization associated with concurrent COVID-19 and anorexia nervosa (AN) had not, to our knowledge, been studied before. We used a database of patients with eating disorders and COVID-19 (to which United Kingdom clinicians had contributed) to investigate presentation, treatment, outcomes, and COVID-19 severity for those with AN and COVID-19. We did not find evidence that patients with AN are at increased risk of severe COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International journal of eating disorders
Early online date14 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Nov 2022

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