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Eating Disorder Symptoms Are Surprisingly Common in People with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

One in four patients with insulin-dependent diabetes aged 16 years and older also exhibit some kind of eating disorder symptoms, according to a recent meta-analysis conducted at the University of Eastern Finland. Findings were published in Eating Behaviors. Insulin-dependent diabetes is also associated with insulin omission.

Eating disorder symptoms were more common in women than in men, which is an observation that has previously been made in young people as well. Age, however, was not a significant factor, as eating disorders occurred regardless of age group.

“Eating disorder symptoms are often thought to affect adolescents and young adults. However, our meta-analysis shows that adults, too, suffer from eating disorder symptoms, which is why it is important to learn to identify patients with eating disorders. Here in Finland, for example, we currently don’t have a care pathway for patients who have both diabetes and eating disorders. Understanding the clinical picture and its prevalence is the first step in developing treatment and care pathways,” Niemelä says.


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