Psychiatric comorbidity as a risk factor for mortality in people with anorexia nervosa

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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is found associated with increased mortality. Frequent comorbidities of AN include substance use disorders (SUD), affective disorders (AD) and personality disorders (PD).
We investigated the influence of these psychiatric comorbidities on all-cause mortality with demographic and socioeconomic factors considered as confounders in the observation window between January 2007 and March 2016 for 1,970 people with AN, using data from the case register of the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust, an almost monopoly secondary mental healthcare service provider in southeast London. We retrieved data from its Clinical Records Interactive Search (CRIS) system as data source. Mortality was ascertained through nationwide tracing by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) linked to CRIS database on a monthly basis.
A total of 43 people with AN died during the observation period. Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) with England and Wales population in 2012 as standard population for our study cohort was 5.21 (95% CI: 3.77, 7.02). In univariate analyses, the comorbidity of SUD or PD was found to significantly increase the relative risks of mortality (HRs=3.10, 95% CI: 1.21, 7.92; and 2.58, 95% CI: 1.23, 5.40, respectively). After adjustment for demographic and socioeconomic covariates as confounders, moderately but not significantly elevated risks were identified for SUD (adjusted HR=1.39, 95% CI: 0.53, 3.65) and PD (adjusted HR=1.58, 95% CI: 0.70, 3.56).
These results suggest an elevated mortality in people with AN, which might be, at least partially, explained by the existence of the comorbidities SUD or PD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Archives Of Psychiatry And Clinical Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2018


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