Early Interv Psychiatry. 2023 Jan 21. doi: 10.1111/eip.13400. Online ahead of print.
AIM: The study aimed to assess changes in adolescent visits due to eating disorders (EDs) during the pandemic.
METHOD: A retrospective evaluation of adolescents diagnosed with an ED during two periods: June 2019-February 2020 (pre-pandemic) and June 2021-February 2022 (during the pandemic) at an adolescent medicine clinic in Tukey was conducted. The number of patients diagnosed with an ED between these dates was compared with the number of overall attended outpatient appointments. Baseline data for patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and the requirement of hospitalization for all cases were compared.
RESULTS: Of the 3708 visits in the pre-pandemic period 46 (1.2%) were diagnosed with an ED. This was 69 (2.2%) of 3149 visits during the pandemic which was statistically significant (p = 0.003). The percentage of males to females changed from 2.2% to 11.6% (p = 0.065). Distribution of the type of ED did not change (p = 0.280), although the percentage of atypical AN increased from 6.5% to 17.4%. Mean age, BMI, calorie intake and hospital admissions did not significantly change.
CONCLUSION: Our findings support the increase in adolescent EDs during COVID-19. Particular attention should be given to males and Atypical AN cases.