The prevalence of other conditions when living with an ED

_Eating disorders really don’t care how old you are, what gender you are, how much money you make, or what your cultural background is._ (11)

Today’s blog is part four of a five-part series featuring new research and data presented by our partners in crime, EDGI NZ and their collaborators at this year’s International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED).

The research presented in parts one, two and three of the blog series thus far, have shed light on the need for:
• Increased participation from minority groups in online eating disorders surveys to reflect the diversity of the population affected by eating disorders;
• Improved ease of access to treatments available for those living with an eating disorder as perceived by their carers; and
• A reduction in the time delay associated with seeking help for an eating disorder and the ability to access immediate care once referred to a specialist.

The Medical and Psychiatric Comorbidities in a New Zealand Sample of those with Eating Disorders

Assistant Research Fellow, University of Otago Department of Psychological Medicine, Lana Cleland, presented a study on behalf of the ‘Costs of Eating Disorders in New Zealand’ investigators at this year’s International Conference on Eating Disorders, comparing the prevalence of other medical and psychiatric conditions with those living with an eating disorder (ED).

Early findings reveal a higher prevalence of osteoporosis in the anorexia nervosa (AN) group, a higher prevalence of obesity-related diabetes in the binge-eating disorder (BED) group, and a higher prevalence of dental issues within the bulimia nervosa (BN) group. Gastrointestinal issues were elevated across all four diagnostic groups, while the prevalence of lifetime mood and anxiety disorders ranged from 60-77 per cent across ED diagnoses. These NZ findings are consistent with international research.

Identification of the genes that predispose individuals to eating disorders will revolutionise future research into causes, treatment, and prevention of the illness.

To help the EDGI team to identify the hundreds of genes that influence a person’s risk of developing anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, visit the EDGI homepage to volunteer.

Should you suspect that you, or a loved one, may be living with an eating disorder, speak to your local healthcare practitioner without delay, or head to www.insideoutinstitute.org.au to complete their screener and assessment, and to access more information and professional support.

Australian professional patient support services offering 24/7 helpline services include:
o Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
o LifeLine: 13 11 14
o Men’s Line Australia: 1300 78 99 78
o Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800.

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