Severe anorexia nervosa in men: comparison with severe AN in women and analysis of mortality

Int J Eat Disord. 2012 May;45(4):537-45. doi: 10.1002/eat.20987. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


Objective: To compare clinical characteristics of men and women with severe AN and to analyze mortality in men.

Method: One thousand and nine patients including 23 anorectic males were hospitalized in St. Anne Hospital in Paris between 1988 and 2004. Data were collected during hospitalization. Fatal outcome was assessed in 2008.

Results: Men presented significantly later age of onset, were more likely to have a history of premorbid overweight than women and less likely to have attempted suicide. Mortality in men was high (standardized mortality ratio: 8.08; 95% CI: 1.62-23.62). Several predictive factors for mortality in men were identified: lower admission body mass index (BMI), later age at admission, and AN-R subtype. All the three deceased patients had dropped out from the inpatient unit. The 10-year survival did not differ between men and women, but men died sooner after hospitalization.

Discussion: Male inpatients should receive close follow-up after their discharge, especially if they have a restrictive form of AN, present low BMI, or are older at admission.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / mortality*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology