Anorexia nervosa: the course of 15 patients treated from 20 to 30 years previously

Can Med Assoc J. 1966 Feb 26;94(9):411-9.


A follow-up study, after 20 to 30 years, of 15 patients with anorexia nervosa, formerly treated by the authors, revealed that only one patient failed to recover from the initial illness, and she ultimately became permanently incapacitated. Three patients have had neurotic symptoms periodically during the years following recovery, and one other became very thin in later life, but these four have been able to carry on fairly adequately for the most part. The remaining 10 patients have lived useful, well-adjusted lives, free of symptoms over the years.This study shows that despite the apparently severe emotional disturbances reflected in the marked physical changes that take place in young people suffering from this syndrome, a deep-rooted psychoneurotic or psychotic predisposition does not necessarily exist; the majority of the patients in this series recovered and remained well after relatively simple treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / complications*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotherapy*