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Home Industry News Eating disorders ‘affecting more older women than expected’

Eating disorders ‘affecting more older women than expected’

18th January 2017

Older women in the UK are being affected by eating disorders at a higher-than-expected rate, according to new research.

Drawing on data from the University of Bristol's Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children cohort, it was found that three per cent of the 5,320 women were found to have an active eating disorder in mid-life.

This is the first time the prevalence of eating disorders has been investigated in a population sample of women in their 40s and 50s, with the figure being higher than expected, given that eating disorders are primarily associated with adolescence or early adulthood.

Of particular concern was the discovery that less than 30 percent of women who had eating disorders had sought help or received treatment, which could be indicative of barriers to healthcare access or a lack of awareness of the condition among medical professionals.

Dr Nadia Micali, lead author from the department of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and University College London, said: "Many of the women who took part in this study told us this was the first time they had ever spoken about their eating difficulties, so we need to understand why many women did not seek help."

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