Author(s): Bulik CM, Von Holle A, Hamer R, Knoph Berg C, Torgersen L,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: We explored the course of broadly defined eating disorders during pregnancy in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. METHOD: A total of 41,157 pregnant women, enrolled at approximately 18 weeks' gestation, had valid data from the Norwegian Medical Birth Registry. We collected questionnaire-based diagnostic information on broadly defined anorexia nervosa (AN), and bulimia nervosa (BN), and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). EDNOS subtypes included binge eating disorder (BED) and recurrent self-induced purging in the absence of binge eating (EDNOS-P). We explored rates of remission, continuation and incidence of BN, BED and EDNOS-P during pregnancy. RESULTS: Prepregnancy prevalence estimates were 0.1\% for AN, 0.7\% for BN, 3.5\% for BED and 0.1\% for EDNOS-P. During early pregnancy, estimates were 0.2\% (BN), 4.8\% (BED) and 0.1\% (EDNOS-P). Proportions of individuals remitting during pregnancy were 78\% (EDNOS-P), 40\% (BN purging), 39\% (BED), 34\% (BN any type) and 29\% (BN non-purging type). Additional individuals with BN achieved partial remission. Incident BN and EDNOS-P during pregnancy were rare. For BED, the incidence rate was 1.1 per 1000 person-weeks, equating to 711 new cases of BED during pregnancy. Incident BED was associated with indices of lower socio-economic status. CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy appears to be a catalyst for remission of some eating disorders but also a vulnerability window for the new onset of broadly defined BED, especially in economically disadvantaged individuals. Vigilance by health-care professionals for continuation and emergence of eating disorders in pregnancy is warranted.
This article was published in Psychol Med
and referenced in Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro - IVF-Worldwide, Reproductive Medicine, Genetics & Stem Cell Biology