Eating disorders increase risk of abortion and miscarriage

ANI| Updated: Oct 09, 2013, 12:56 PM IST

Washington: A new study has revealed that women with eating disorders are less likely to have children than others in their age group and are more likely to suffer from reproductive health problems.

The discrepancy is the most apparent in anorexia sufferers and in this group, the number of pregnancies was less than half of that of the control group.

The Finnish study found that the likelihood of abortion was more than double for bulimics than for others in the same age group. Meanwhile, the likelihood for miscarriage was more than triple for binge-eating disorder (BED) sufferers.

"Early recognition, effective care and sufficiently long follow-up periods for eating disorders are crucial in the prevention of reproductive health problems," Milla Linna from the University of Helsinki, Hjelt Institute said.

Conducted jointly by the University of Helsinki and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the 15-year register-based study examined the reproductive health of patients treated at the eating disorder clinic of the Helsinki University Central Hospital in 1995-2010 and a control group.

Members of the control group were of the same age and gender and from the same region as the patients. More than 11,000 women participated in the study, of which 2,257 were patients of the eating disorder clinic and 9,028 were control group members.

Linna said that while this study does not provide an explanation for the reproductive health problems observed in women with eating disorders, based on previous research, it seems likely that the problems can at least partially be attributed to the eating disorder.