Study finds eating disorders increased during pandemic among adolescents


Emergency division (ED) visits and hospital admissions for eating disorders increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in adolescents aged 10-17 years, as did ED visits among younger adults and older adults, based on new analysis. The findings have been revealed in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Using ICES knowledge, researchers in contrast noticed and anticipated charges of ED visits and hospitalisations for eating disorders in adolescents (10-17 years), younger adults (18-26 years), adults (27-40 years), and older adults (41-105 years) earlier than and during the pandemic (January 1, 2017 to February 29, 2020).

“A combination of risk factors — including isolation, increased time spent on social media, extended time spent with family, decreased access to care, and fear of infection — may contribute to an increased risk of the development or exacerbation of an eating disorder,” write Dr Alene Toulany, an adolescent drugs specialist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickYoungsters) and adjunct scientist at ICES, Toronto, Ontario, and co-authors.

Additional elements which will have contributed to the rise in eating disorders embody concern about well being and train with the closure of gyms and different alternatives for bodily exercise and family stress.
The authors advocate extra funding in eating dysfunction packages for adolescents and adults, in addition to continued analysis.

“Our findings reveal significant variations in the utilisation of acute care services for eating disorders across different age groups. This highlights the need for a nuanced approach to allocating mental health resources and expanding system capacity and resources dedicated to both adolescent and adult eating disorder programs,” mentioned Dr Toulany.

“Further research is needed to determine the degree to which the surge in acute presentations is attributable to new eating disorders or exacerbation of pre-existing eating disorders,” the authors conclude.

(with inputs from ANI)



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