Purpose Previous research has indicated that patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) or atypical AN with premorbid history of overweight/obesity have greater weight loss and longer illness duration than patients with no such history. However, little is known about the association of premorbid overweight/obesity and receiving inpatient medical care during treatment for an eating disorder. Methods Using logistic regression, we sought to determine if history of overweight/obesity was associated with receiving inpatient medical care in a sample of 522 patients (mean age 15.5 years, 88% female) with AN/atypical AN. Results Binary results demonstrated greater percent weight loss (27.4% vs. 16.2%) and higher percent median body mass index (%mBMI, 99.8% vs. 85.2%) at presentation in those with a history of overweight/obesity (p <.001) but no difference in duration of illness (p =.09). In models adjusted for demographics and percent weight loss, history of overweight/obesity was associated with lower odds of receiving inpatient medical care (odds ratio.60 [95% confidence interval:.45–.80]) at 1-year follow-up. However, these associations were no longer significant after adjusting for %mBMI. Mediation results suggest that %mBMI fully mediates the relationship between history of overweight/obesity and inpatient medical care, in that those with a history of overweight/obesity are less likely to receive care due to presenting at a higher weight. Conclusions Our findings suggest that, despite greater degree of weight loss and no difference in duration of illness, participants with a history of overweight/obesity are less likely to receive inpatient medical care.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health