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Eating disorders and immune systems diseases

Nov 21, 2017 | Failure to Diagnose

Parents in New York who are concerned about the effects eating disorders can have on their children should know that authors of a study have determined new associations between eating disorders and immune system diseases. They believe that these links may be useful in diagnosing and treating the diseases.

The results of earlier studies had already revealed the links between immunity diseases and certain psychiatric disorders. For the newly published study, the scope of the research was broadened to include autoinflammatory diseases, and the focus was placed on the links to eating disorders.

The study involved an examination of the records of almost one million Danish children and adolescents born from 1989 to 2006. The records were monitored until 2012.

During the study period, 25,984 of the children and adolescents received a diagnosis of an autoinflammatory or autoimmune disease. From that group, 0.6 percent later received a diagnosis of an eating disorder.

Cox models were used to determine hazard ratios, and they revealed that children who had an autoinflammatory or autoimmune disease had a 50 percent greater chance of incurring an eating disorder. They were 73 percent more likely to have bulimia nervosa and 72 percent more likely to suffer from an unspecified eating disorder. The same children had a 39 percent higher hazard for developing anorexia nervosa.

Particularly high hazard levels were found in children who had an autoimmune disease related to their gastrointestinal system. They had a 74 percent higher hazard for anorexia and a 148 percent higher hazard for unspecified eating disorders.

A doctor’s failure to diagnose an illness, such as an autoimmune disease, may be a form of medical malpractice. A malpractice attorney may pursue financial damages on behalf of client’s whose undiagnosed conditions resulted in delayed medical treatment, treatment for another disease, a worsened condition or death.