Anorexia Nervosa - Description

Anorexia Nervosa Description 2738
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Anorexia nervosa was first classified as a psychiatric (mental) disorder in 1980 and has since become a growing problem in the United States. The number of cases has doubled since 1970, and experts now estimate that 0.5 to 1 percent of all white females may be anorexic. About 90 percent of all anorexics are female, although the number of males with the disorder is growing. The most common age at which the disorder first appears is fourteen to eighteen years. However, anorexia nervosa may begin later in life; some cases of the disorder have been documented in infants. Studies indicate that the disorder is increasing among women of all races and social classes in the United States.

Anorexia nervosa is a very dangerous disorder. It has a very high rate of mortality (death). In addition, it can cause some serious long-term health effects. These effects include a reduced rate of growth, dental problems, constipation, stomach rupture, anemia (see anemia entry), loss of kidney function, heart problems, and osteoporosis (weakening of the bones; see osteoporosis entry).

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