Carlos M. Grilo, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology and Director of the Program for Obesity Weight and Eating Research (POWER), is the senior author of a paper published in BMC Medicine that examines the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts in people with eating disorders.
The study included 36,171 adults, and the researchers evaluated lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts, psychosocial impairment, clinical profiles, and psychiatric comorbidity in adults with eating disorders with and without suicide attempt histories.
The results showed that adults with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder have a significantly elevated risk of suicide attempts. The researchers wrote that routine screening for eating disorders along with suicide attempt history by healthcare providers "could inform comprehensive treatment planning and appropriate treatment referrals."
"Given that suicide remains a major cause of deaths in the (United States), it is crucial to develop better approaches for earlier identification and recognition of risk, which may, in turn, enhance suicide prevention strategies across the lifespan and across different clinical groups that might differ in their suicide risk," the researchers wrote.