Anorexic Women Have More Abortions

...and many more unplanned pregnancies
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2010 10:17 AM CST
Anorexic Women Have More Abortions
In a new study, researchers found a high percentage of unplanned pregnancies and abortions among the tiny percentage of women who admitted they had anorexia.   (Shutterstock)

Contrary to popular belief, anorexic women continue to menstruate, and retain the ability to conceive and give birth. The widely-held belief that they can't, however, may be behind a striking finding by obstetrics researchers: anorexic women are a lot more likely to have unplanned pregnancies and abortions. In a recent study on 62,060 Norwegian women, only 62 identified themselves as anorexics, but half of those said they'd had an unplanned pregnancy—compared to only 19% of the rest of the subjects, Time reports.

Some 24% of the anorexics had had an abortion, compared to just 15% of those without the eating disorder. Among those who didn't abort, anorexics delivered babies at an average of age of three years younger—26 as opposed to 29. “It wasn't just a subtle difference,” says the lead researcher. “It was really a whopping difference. We have got a public health message we've got to get out there.”
(More anorexia stories.)

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