Date: 16 Jan 2014

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

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Introduction

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 ...