A 4-year prospective study of eating disorder NOS compared with full eating disorder syndromes

Int J Eat Disord. 2009 Sep;42(6):565-70. doi: 10.1002/eat.20708.


Objective: To examine the course of Eating Disorder NOS (EDNOS) compared with anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED).

Method: Prospective study of 385 participants meeting DSM-IV criteria for AN, BN, BED, and EDNOS at three sites. Recruitment was from the community and specialty clinics. Participants were followed at 6-month intervals during a 4-year period using the Eating Disorder Examination as the primary assessment.

Results: EDNOS remitted significantly more quickly that AN or BN but not BED. There were no differences between EDNOS and full ED syndromes, or the subtypes of EDNOS, in time to relapse following first remission. Only 18% of the EDNOS group had never had or did not develop another ED diagnosis during the study; however, this group did not differ from the remaining EDNOS group.

Discussion: EDNOS appears to be a way station between full ED syndromes and recovery, and to a lesser extent from recovery or EDNOS status to a full ED. Implications for DSM-V are examined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / classification
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia Nervosa / classification
  • Bulimia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Bulimia Nervosa / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / classification
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Assessment
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Young Adult