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Risk of major adverse perinatal outcomes in women with eating disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255 - 259
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberMAR.
PublishedMar 2007

King's Authors


Background Low birth weight, prematurity and higher miscarriage rates have previously been reported in women with eating disorders. Aims To determine whether women with a history of eating disorders are at higher risk of major adverse perinatal outcomes. Methods Adjusted birth weight, preterm delivery and miscarriage history were compared in those with a history of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa (n=171), bulimia nervosa (n=199) and both (n=82)) and those with other (n=1 166) and no psychiatric disorders (n=10 636) in a longitudinal cohort study. Results The group with bulimia nervosa had significantly higher rates of past miscarriages (relative risk ratio 2.0, P=0.01) and the group with anorexia nervosa delivered babies of significantly lower birth weight than the general population (P=0.01), which was mainly explained by lower pre-pregnancy body mass index. Preterm delivery rates were comparable across groups. Conclusions Women with a history of eating disorders are at higher risk of major adverse obstetric outcomes. Antenatal services should be aware of this higher risk. Declaration of interest None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements

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