A new study shows the eating disorder anorexia nervosa causes great harm to the health of adolescent girls and affects many of the body's most important systems.
Studies in the past have shown adverse bodily affects from the disease, but most have been conducted among women who were so sick that they had to be hospitalized. In a more recent study , researchers involved 60 girls with an average age of about 15 who were compared to 58 healthy girls of a similar age. The girls with anorexia had lower body mass indexes, percentage of lean body mass, and other weight-related measures than the healthy girls. However, results also showed these girls had lower heart rates, lower bone mineral density, lower systolic blood pressure, and lower body temperatures. They were also more likely to have hormonal abnormalities and to be anemic.
Thus researchers say the results of their study suggest the need to vigilantly monitor girls with the condition, even if they are still healthy enough to be living at home.