Date: 16 Jan 2014

Late onset anorexia nervosa and the role of parental family. Presentation of two cases

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Anorexia Nervosa (AN) has traditionally been considered an illness of young individuals and its etiology has been linked with the stress of the transition from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. A recent study reported that 4.6 % of middle aged women were suffering from eating disorder (ED) and an additional 4.8 % displayed sub-threshold ED [1]. The literature on late onset EDs is sparse with only a few studies and case reports published in the last decades [2]. However, there are earlier documentations of the appearance of AN in older ages, as shown already back in 1874, in the record of a Lasègue’s patient that was 32 years old at the onset of the disorder [3].

Dally in 1984 [4] described four groups of women that developed “tardive anorexia” related to marriage (in the engagement period, during marriage, within 3 years of pregnancy and during menopause). He considered the first three groups forming a continuum with the adolescent form of anorexia nervosa, characteriz ...