Thursday, September 22, 2011

ECG Abnormality Not Reliable Indicator Of Anorexia Nervosa Severity

A prolonged QT interval is not reliably correlated with sudden death in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). Although AN carries the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder, largely attributable to sudden cardiac death or suicide, the actual mechanism of death has been controversial. Researchers at the University of Colorado and Denver Health Medical Center published online in General Hospital Psychiatry this week the results of their study of ECG abnormalities in a cohort of 19 medically compromised, very-low-body-mass index AN patients.

They corrected for previous studies' deficiencies of previous, including lack of standardized ECG and reliance on formulas that did not take into account the extremes of heart rate often observed in AN. "Although delayed cardiac repolarization was observed among a medically compromised cohort of patients with anorexia nervosa, the corrected QT interval was not a reliable correlate of disease severity despite digital ECG adjudication and optimal rate correction," they concluded.

Read more about  suicide as a cause of mortality in AN patients in Psychiatric News at Also see the Clinical Manual of Eating Disorders, available from American Psychiatric Publishing at
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