Psychological and metabolic risk factors in older adults with a previous history of eating disorder: A cross-sectional study from the Predimed-Plus study

Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2021 Jul;29(4):575-587. doi: 10.1002/erv.2833. Epub 2021 Apr 27.


Goals: To explore affective and cognitive status, later in life, in individuals with and without previous history of eating disorder (ED), and also its association with higher risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS) symptomatology.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 6756 adults, aged 55-75 years with overweight/obesity and MetS participating in the Predimed-Plus study was conducted. Participants completed self-reported questionnaires to examine lifetime history of ED, according to DSM-5 criteria, and other psychopathological and neurocognitive factors. Anthropometric and metabolic measurements were also collected.

Results: Of the whole sample, 24 individuals (0.35%) reported a previous history of ED. In this subsample, there were more women and singles compared to their counterparts, but they also presented higher levels of depressive symptoms and higher cognitive impairment, but also higher body mass index (BMI) and severe obesity, than those without lifetime ED.

Conclusions: This is one of the first studies to analyse the cognitive and metabolic impact of a previous history of ED. The results showed that previous ED was associated with greater affective and cognitive impairment, but also with higher BMI, later in life. No other MetS risk factors were found, after controlling for relevant variables.

Keywords: cardiovascular risk; depressive symptoms; eating disorder; metabolic syndrome; neuropsychological profile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Risk Factors