Navigation Links
First study of eating disorders in teen ER patients suggests an opportunity to spot hidden problems
Date:11/19/2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Could the emergency room be a good place to spot undiagnosed eating disorders among teens, and help steer them to treatment? A new study from the University of Michigan suggests that could be the case.

Researchers screened more than 940 teens and young adults aged 14 years to 20 years for eating disorders, as part of their visit to the U-M Emergency Department for any non-psychiatric reason.

They found that 16 percent more than one in every 6 had indications of an eating disorder. Those that did were also much more likely to also show signs of depression and substance abuse conditions that often go hand-in-hand with eating disorders.

The results are published in the November issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

The researchers, from the U-M Medical School's Department of Emergency Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, and the Center for Eating Disorders of Ann Arbor, MI, also noted that more than a quarter of the patients with signs of eating disorders were male a higher percentage than might be expected.

Contrary to most people's perceptions of eating disorders, but consistent with what experts know about the condition, the patients who screened positive for eating disorders in the ER were more than three times as likely to be obese than those without eating issues.

Although anorexia nervosa is the most commonly known eating disorder, and calls to mind images of unhealthily skinny teens, bulimia and binge eating are also eating disorders and are known to be associated with overweight and obesity.

Suzanne Dooley-Hash, M.D., who led the study, works as an emergency physician at U-M. She started the effort because she had a sense that eating disorders were more common among ER patients than the care teams there might think it's just that no one was asking about it.

For many teens and young adults, ER visits are more common than regular doctor visits -- or the only form of medical care they get. In fact, teens who received public assistance of some sort were more likely to have signs of eating disorders in the ER study population.

So the idea of screening for eating disorders there, and helping at-risk teens get treatment after they leave the ER, could be an effective way of stemming problems before they become even more serious. Similar approaches have been taken for drug and alcohol abuse, risky driving, and other risky behaviors.

The new study was part of the UConnect study, led by Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., who is senior author of the new paper and an associate professor of emergency medicine, and Maureen Walton, MPH, Ph.D., a co-author of the new paper and research associate professor of psychiatry. Cunningham also holds an associate professorship at the U-M School of Public Health and directs the U-M Injury Center.

The researchers acknowledge that the study represents patients from one hospital, located in a university town, and say that further research would be needed to confirm the findings' applicability before any interventions are designed.

"They come in for other things and it's up to health care providers to know what to look for," says Dooley-Hash, an assistant professor of emergency medicine who has worked to educate her fellow emergency physicians about eating disorders and how to spot high-risk teens. "ER teams can be equipped to refer patients for care, just as we do for substance abuse. It could be a wakeup call, a teachable moment, a chance to tell them they need to seek help and direct them to resources."

She notes that many teens with eating disorders may come to their physician or an ER with stomach-related complaints but not want to acknowledge that their symptoms are related to an eating issue. Many go undiagnosed for years. On the other end of the spectrum, she says she has seen teens die in the ER after struggling with eating disorders and the depression and suicidal tendencies that often accompany them.

While treatment for eating disorders is not a surefire thing, and can take years, the earlier a patient is diagnosed the better their chances are, she says.


'/>"/>
Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. First targeted nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies
2. First contact: Early intervention key in diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illness
3. Donor Kidney Re-Used in Second Patient After Failing in First
4. Many Who First Misuse Prescription Pills Get Them From Friends, Family: Report
5. First-of-its-kind Menopause Map helps women navigate treatment
6. First recipients of AcademyHealths Presidential Scholarship announced
7. Kessler Foundation researchers present at first International Congress on Cognition in MS
8. Whos the Dad? First-Trimester Blood Test May Tell
9. AGA releases first independently developed ABIM-approved Practice Improvement Module in GI
10. Dr. Yael Mosse will receive first Nachman Award in Pediatric Oncology at national conference
11. First study investigating possible link between sunscreen ingredient and endometriosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com ... retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and ... have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment center for ... Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This annual celebration ... world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often refer to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply ... health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now ... and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings ... The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription ... are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... their offering. The current ... environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population creates ... drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction of ... but development is still in its infancy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: