Washington DC: With a shift in lifestyle many people suffer from eating disorders without even realising the harmful effects it can have one their health.
People with an eating disorder have higher rates of other conditions including prescriptions in the years before their diagnosis, shows a study, which was published in the 'British Journal of Psychiatry'.
"I cannot emphasise enough the importance of detection and early intervention for eating disorders. Delays in receiving diagnosis and treatment are sadly common and also associated with poorer outcomes and great suffering," says Dr Jacinta Tan, lead researcher of the study.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality of all mental illnesses, both from physical causes and from suicide.
"Eating disorders can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families. So this study is very timely," says Keith Lloyd, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales.
The research team from Swansea University Medical School examined anonymised electronic health records. 15,558 people in Wales were diagnosed as having eating disorders between 1990 and 2017.
In the two years before their diagnosis, data showed that these 15558 people had higher levels of other mental disorders such as personality or alcohol disorders and depression, higher levels of accidents, injuries and self-harm, higher rate of prescription for central nervous system drugs such as antipsychotics and antidepressants and higher rate of prescriptions for gastrointestinal drugs.