Article open access publication

The incidence of eating disorders in a Danish register study: Associations with suicide risk and mortality

Journal of Psychiatric Research, Elsevier, ISSN 1879-1379

Volume 65, 2015

DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.03.003, Dimensions: pub.1034591418, PMC: PMC4482129, PMID: 25958083,



  1. (1) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, grid.10698.36
  2. (2) Aarhus University, grid.7048.b, AU
  3. (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  4. (4) Karolinska Institute, grid.4714.6


Our aim was to characterize the incidence rates and cumulative incidence of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), and examine associations among eating disorder diagnoses, suicide attempts, and mortality. Individuals born in Denmark between 1989 and 2006 were included (N = 966,141, 51.3% male). Eating disorders diagnoses (AN, broad AN, BN, EDNOS) were drawn from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register (PCRR) and Danish National Patient Register (NPR). Suicide attempts and deaths were captured in the NPR, the PCRR, and the Danish Civil Registration System (CRS). In females, AN had a peak hazard at approximately age 15 years, BN at 22 years, and EDNOS had an extended peak that spanned 18 years-22 years. Eating disorder diagnoses predicted a significantly higher hazard for death and suicide attempt compared with the referent of individuals with no eating disorders. In males, peak hazard for diagnosis was earlier than in females. The present study represents one of the largest and longest studies of eating disorder incidence and suicide attempts and death in both females and males. Eating disorders are accompanied by increased hazard of suicide attempts and death even in young adults.


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Aarhus University

University of Copenhagen

Danish Open Access Indicator

2015: Unused

Research area: Social Sciences

Danish Bibliometrics Indicator

2015: Level 1

Research area: Social Sciences

Dimensions Citation Indicators

Times Cited: 51

Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 14.22

Relative Citation ratio (RCR): 4.27

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Green, Accepted