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Transition across eating disorder diagnoses is common, reflecting instability of specific eating disorder presentations. Previous studies have examined temporal stability of diagnoses in adult treatment-seeking samples but have not uniformly captured initial presentation for treatment. The current study examines transitions across eating disorder diagnostic categories in a large, treatment-seeking sample of individuals born in Sweden and compares these transitions across two birth cohorts and from initial diagnosis.
Data from Swedish eating disorders quality registers were extracted in 2013, including 9622 individuals who were seen at least twice from 1999 to 2013. Patterns of remission were examined in the entire sample and subsequently compared across initial diagnoses. An older (born prior to 1990) and younger birth cohort were also identified, and analyses compared these cohorts on patterns of diagnostic transition.
Although diagnostic instability was common, transition between threshold eating disorder diagnoses was infrequent. For all diagnoses, transition to remission was likely to occur following a diagnosis state that matched initial diagnosis, or through a subthreshold diagnostic state. Individuals in the younger cohort were more likely to transition to a state of remission than those in the older cohort.
Results indicate more temporal continuity in eating disorder presentations than suggested by previous research and highlight the importance of early detection and intervention in achieving remission.
Advanced paternal age at childbirth is associated with psychiatric disorders in offspring, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. However, few studies have investigated paternal age's relationship with eating disorders in offspring. In a large, population-based cohort, we examined the association between paternal age and offspring eating disorders, and whether that association remains after adjustment for potential confounders (e.g. parental education level) that may be related to late/early selection into fatherhood and to eating disorder incidence.
Data for 2 276 809 individuals born in Sweden 1979–2001 were extracted from Swedish population and healthcare registers. The authors used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the effect of paternal age on the first incidence of healthcare-recorded anorexia nervosa (AN) and all eating disorders (AED) occurring 1987–2009. Models were adjusted for sex, birth order, maternal age at childbirth, and maternal and paternal covariates including country of birth, highest education level, and lifetime psychiatric and criminal history.
Even after adjustment for covariates including maternal age, advanced paternal age was associated with increased risk, and younger paternal age with decreased risk, of AN and AED. For example, the fully adjusted hazard ratio for the 45+ years (v. the 25–29 years) paternal age category was 1.32 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14–1.53] for AN and 1.26 (95% CI 1.13–1.40) for AED.
In this large, population-based cohort, paternal age at childbirth was positively associated with eating disorders in offspring, even after adjustment for potential confounders. Future research should further explore potential explanations for the association, including de novo mutations in the paternal germline.
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