Study Links Eating Disorders to Miscarriages

First Posted: Oct 09, 2013 10:50 AM EDT

Study Links Eating Disorders to Miscarriages
Study Links Eating Disorders to Abortion and Miscarriages (Photo : Reuters)
A latest Finnish study states that  women with eating disorders are less likely to have children.
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The study conducted by researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, states that women with eating disorders such as anorexia are less likely to have kids when compared to others in the same age group. The women who suffered from binge eating disorder (BED) were three times more likely to suffer a miscarriage and the chances of abortion in bulimics were double in the same age group.
This was more evident in anorexia sufferers.  The women who were treated for BED, half of their pregnancies ended in a miscarriage. Among the study participants, the number of pregnancies was less than half of that of the control group.
"Early recognition, effective care and sufficiently long follow-up periods for eating disorders are crucial in the prevention of reproductive health problems," researcher Milla Linna from the University of Helsinki, Hjelt Institute said in a press statement.
It is a known fact that eating disorders put a pregnancy at high risk. According to the study reports, nearly 5-10 percent of young women suffer from eating disorders.
The 15-year study conducted in collaboration with the University of Helsinki and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, analyzed the reproductive health of those patients who were treated at the eating disorder clinic of Helsinki University Central Hospital from 1995-2010. The study also involved a control group who belonged to the same age and gender as well as same region. The study involved more than 11,000 women and nearly 2,257 suffered from eating disorders and 9,028 were members belonging to the control group.
Linna concludes saying, "This study does not provide an explanation for the reproductive health problems observed in women with eating disorders. Based on previous research, however, it seems likely that the problems can at least partially be attributed to the eating disorder. Both being underweight and obese are known to be associated with the increased risk of infertility and miscarriage. Eating disorders also often involve menstrual irregularities or the absence of menstruation, which may lead to neglecting contraception and ultimately to unwanted pregnancies."
A recent study conducted by researchers at the Hebrew University and University of Tel Aviv highlighted the importance of healthy breakfast as it can boost fertility by improving ovulation and reducing problems like menstrual irregularities, diabetes and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
The study was published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.