Objective: Comorbid mental disorders in anorexia nervosa during long-term course require detailed studies.
Method: This matched cohort study was based on nationwide Danish register data of all patients born 1961-2008 with a first-time ICD-10 diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN) between 1994 and 2018 at age 8-32 and matched controls taken from all individuals without an eating disorder (ED). For nine categories of non-eating mental disorders, time from date of first AN-diagnosis (inclusion date) to time of first diagnosis, accounting for censoring, was studied by use of time-stratified Cox models.
Results: A total of 9,985 patients with AN (93.5% females) and 49,351 matched controls were followed for a median (IQR) of 9.0 (4.4-15.7) years. For patients, there was about 25% and 55% risk of receiving any non-ED disorder during the first 2 years and two decades after inclusion, respectively. A hazard ratio (HR) of seven for any non-ED was found for the first 12 months after inclusion, a ratio that reduced to two at five or more years after inclusion. During the first years, large HRs ranging in 6-9 were found for affective, autism spectrum, personality, and obsessive-compulsive disorders with the latter displaying the highest continuous increased risk. The HR at 12 months after inclusion was highest for any non-ED disorder and affective disorders in patients aged 8-13 at diagnosis.
Discussion: Comorbid mental disorders in AN are most frequently diagnosed in the first years after diagnosis of AN and on longer terms imply a double immediate risk.
Keywords: anorexia nervosa; comorbidity; epidemiology; matched cohort design; register data.
© 2021 The Authors. International Journal of Eating Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.