Eating Disorders and Suicide Risk

Background

Eating disorders have become an urgent social problem throughout the last ca. ten years. Much attention has been directed towards these problems and the people who suffer from a serious eating disorder. But we are still deficient in precise knowledge and documentation on the subject.

The hypothesis is that the suicide risk for people suffering from eating disorders is significantly higher than for other people.

Objective

The objective of the research project is to gather documentation regarding eating disorders with the intention to make a targeted effort and obtain a quicker and better effect.

Documentation

  • Possible causes for the development of an eating disorder
  • Protective factors, including the significance of social network, coping strategies etc.
  • Suicide risk for people suffering from eating disorders

In addition to this, operational proposals are sought in preventing eating disorders along with proposals for after-care and rehabilitation.

Method

On the basis of data from the demographic data base and from the register of prevention along with already collected data, characteristics of young people with an eating disorder are analysed. Risk factors are analysed and time- and causal relations are studied.

Suicidal behaviour among children and young people with eating disorders is illustrated by means of the data base RISC and other accessible registers/data bases. It is analysed if the eating disorder increases the probability of a suicide attempt/suicide, and if there is increased probability of a repeated suicide attempt. Equally, an analysis is made of the time interval between discharge from psychiatric department until the suicide attempt occurs, in order to illustrate if there are times when the risk for a suicide attempt is particularly high. Finally, a grouping into age and sex will be made in order to see if eating disorders affect the suicidal behaviour of boys/young men more than that of girls/young women.

Status

The project is completed. The project was financially supported by the Ministry of Social Affairs, now the Ministry of Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs.

Contact

The project was carried through by director of Centre for Suicide Research, PhD Lilian Zoellner, lz@cfsmail.dk and statistician Boerge Jensen, Centre for Suicide Research.

Udgivet den 1. June 2016