Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 499–517 | Cite as

An eight-year follow-up: Outcome from adolescent compared to adult onset anorexia nervosa

  • Regina C. Casper
  • Leslie N. Jabine


Seventy-five women were traced and reassessed on average eight years after the onset of anorexia nervosa. All patients received treatment and 88% were hospitalized at least once. Comparisons between early (11–15 years; N=35), late (16–18 years; N=24) adolescent and adult (19–27 years; N=14) onset revealed no significant differences in outcome for age at onset. For 70% of adolescent and 42% of adult onset patients the outcome was good, meaning that the weight was within ± 15% of norm with regular cyclical menstruation,17% and 21% had an intermediate, and 9% and 21%, respectively, had a poor outcome, 5.3% had died. Taken together, 59% had physically recovered and were free of any eating disorder. Severity of illness reflected in a low body mass index, excessive exercise, and poor psychosocial functioning at intake were poor prognostic indicators;length of illness and food restriction or bulimia as eating patterns were unrelated to outcome. The observation that all women with chronic anorexia nervosa, and even a third of those who had physically recovered from anorexia nervosa, qualified for one or more psychiatric diagnoses suggests that the psychosocial correlates of anorexia nervosa require further study.


Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Prognostic Indicator Food Restriction Psychiatric Diagnosis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Regina C. Casper
    • 1
  • Leslie N. Jabine
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanford
  2. 2.Clinical track in the Department of Medicine and PediatricsUniversity of Illinois in Chicago

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