Anorexia nervosa 6 times more deadly in males

Anorexia nervosa 6 times more deadly in males


Anorexia nervosa affects both males and females, but affected males have a mortality rate six times higher than that of the general population. This is supported by a new study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The research aims to raise public awareness of this eating disorder in children. “Early identification and timely treatment are essential,” he said Basil Kadouraone of the study’s authors and a specialist in adolescent health at British Columbia Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

The disease in males

Among the problems is the fact that the pathology is under-diagnosed in boys, which is not the case among girls. The researchers identified five relevant facts that they believe are important to know about anorexia nervosa in males: Up to 0.3% of males are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Stigma, poor mental health knowledge and gender stereotypes reduce help-seeking behaviors and lead to delays in treatment and poorer outcomes.

The groups most at risk

Some male adolescents are more at risk, particularly athletes who participate in body- and strength-focused sports such as cycling, running, and wrestling, as well as racially diverse males and homosexual, bisexual, trans, and queer people; screening of muscle-strengthening goals and behaviors is important for evaluating anorexia nervosa; dietary changes, excessive exercise, and use of supplements and anabolic steroids are potential warning signs. To evaluate the presence of these eating behaviors there is a muscle-oriented eating test.

Complications in males

Complications of the disease can be life-threatening and include unstable vital signs, slower-than-normal heart rate, electrolyte abnormalities, and other conditions. A detailed medical history, physical exam, and blood tests help identify more serious medical problems and guide treatment. For outpatients, family-based treatment is recommended. In this approach recommended by the guidelines, parents are considered the adolescent’s points of reference and guide the child’s refeeding process.

“The majority of male adolescents suffering from anorexia nervosa – conclude the authors of the study – can be treated on an outpatient basis with family therapy and continuous medical monitoring. However, some adolescents may require hospital treatment”.


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