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DSM-IV-Defined Anorexia Nervosa Versus Subthreshold Anorexia Nervosa (EDNOS-AN)

Date Published: 4/14

Abstract: 

Objectives—Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) is the most prevalent eating disorder, yet its heterogeneity begs less reliance on this broad diagnostic category. The purpose of this study was to compare women with anorexia nervosa (AN) and EDNOS, AN type (EDNOSAN) from a multisite study on eating-related and general psychopathology measures.

Methods—One hundred eighteen participants (n = 59 with DSM-IV AN, n = 59 with EDNOSAN) completed structured interviews, questionnaires and a physical examination at baseline. In addition, participants carried a handheld palm pilot computer for two weeks to provide ecological momentary assessment (EMA) information about mood and eating disorder behaviors.

Results—No significant differences between AN and EDNOS-AN were found on the self-report and interview measures, or on the EMA mood assessments. The only differences to emerge were that participants with AN reported higher rates of binge eating and purging on EMA compared to those with EDNOS-AN, while EDNOS-AN reported higher rates of checking thighs and joints on EMA compared to those with AN. For the physiological parameters, AN presented with lower white blood cell counts compared to EDNOS-AN.

Conclusions—Findings highlight the clinical significance of EDNOS-AN, and support a closer look at the definition of AN as proposed by DSM-5.

Authors:

Daniel Le Grange,
The University of Chicago
Ross D. Crosby,
University of North Dakota and Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
Scott G. Engel,
University of North Dakota and Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
Li Cao,
Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
Alfred Ndungu,
Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
Scott J. Crow,
University of Minnesota
Carol B. Peterson,
University of Minnesota
James E. Mitchell, and
University of North Dakota and Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
Stephen A. Wonderlich
University of North Dakota and Neuropsychiatric Research Institute

Download Full Paper: PDF (57kb)

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