Suicidality in eating disorders: occurrence, correlates, and clinical implications.
This review summarizes the published studies on suicide and suicide attempts in individuals with eating disorders, highlighting rates of occurrence, clinical correlates, and implications for practitioners. Multiple studies find high rates of suicide in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) [Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) for suicide range from 1.0 to 5.3], whereas suicide rates do not appear to be elevated in bulimia nervosa (BN). In contrast, suicide attempts occur in approximately 3-20% of patients with anorexia nervosa and in 25-35% of patients with bulimia nervosa. Clinical correlates of suicidality in eating disorders include purging behaviors, depression, substance abuse, and a history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse. Patients with eating disorders, particularly those with comorbid disorders, should be assessed routinely for suicidal ideation, regardless of the severity of eating disorder or depressive symptoms.
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