Medical complications of anorexia nervosa

J Womens Health. 1997 Oct;6(5):533-41. doi: 10.1089/jwh.1997.6.533.


Anorexia nervosa is often characterized by progressive deterioration in many different organ systems. Most medical complications are the result of starvation and can be reversed with a well-planned refeeding program. While some of the complications of anorexia nervosa are predictable physiologic adaptations to the self-imposed starvation, many others are potentially life threatening. It is therefore incumbent upon all primary care physicians to become familiar with this disorder, because it is increasing in incidence and is commonly burdened by substantial chronicity and recidivism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / etiology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Diet Therapy
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology
  • Humans
  • Starvation / physiopathology*