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Anxiety disorders predict fasting to control weight: A longitudinal large cohort study of adolescents

Lloyd, EC; Haase, AM; Zerwas, S; Micali, N; (2019) Anxiety disorders predict fasting to control weight: A longitudinal large cohort study of adolescents. European Eating Disorders Review 10.1002/erv.2714. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To determine whether anxiety disorders are prospectively associated with fasting for weight‐loss/to avoid weight‐gain, a behaviour that precedes and is typical of anorexia nervosa (AN), during adolescence. / Method: Participants were 2,406 female adolescents of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Anxiety disorders were assessed when participants were aged 13–14 and 15–16; fasting was measured approximately 2 years after each anxiety assessment. Generalised estimating equation models examined whether anxiety disorders predicted later fasting, across the two longitudinal waves of data. To probe the moderating effect of time, data were stratified by wave and binary logistic regression analyses completed. / Results: Across longitudinal waves, anxiety disorder presence predicted increased risk of later fasting. Evidence from wave‐stratified analyses supported a positive association between anxiety disorder presence at wave 15–16 and fasting at wave 17–18, however did not indicate an association between anxiety disorders at wave 13–14 and fasting at wave 15–16. / Discussion: Anxiety disorder presence in mid‐late, but not early, adolescence predicted increased likelihood of later fasting. The differential association could be explained by anxiety being parent‐reported at wave 13–14. Findings highlight anxiety disorder pathology as a possible eating disorder prevention target, though the nature of association observed requires clarification.

Type: Article
Title: Anxiety disorders predict fasting to control weight: A longitudinal large cohort study of adolescents
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/erv.2714
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/erv.2714
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Authors. European Eating Disorders Review published by Eating Disorders Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: adolescent ALSPAC anorexia nervosa anxiety disorders eating behaviour
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090159
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