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Anorexia, Bulimia Boost Autoimmune Disease Risk

Update Date: Aug 26, 2014 07:55 PM EDT
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Eating disorders can boost the risk of autoimmune disorders, according to a new study.

New research reveals that eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can increase a person's risk of developing somatic illnesses like type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel diseases. Researchers said this is worrying as autoimmune diseases can boost the risk of depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

The latest study involved 2,342 people with eating disorders and 9,368 healthy matched population controls.

Researchers found that 8.9 percent of patients with eating disorders and 5.4 percent of healthy participants were diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. The study revealed that the boost in endocrinological diseases was explained by type 1 diabetes, whereas Crohn's disease accounted for most cases of gastroenterological diseases.

Researchers noted that the higher prevalence of autoimmune diseases among patients with eating disorders was not limited to endocrinological and gastroenterological diseases. Even after accounting for endocrinological and gastroenterological diseases, researchers found that that people with eating disorders still suffered higher rates of autoimmune disorders.

The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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