Among the many benefits accruing from the Genetics of Anorexia Nervosa Collaborative Study funded by the NIH is the ability to study other issues related to AN. A recent paper on Suicide Attempts in Anorexia Nervosa published in Psychosomatic Medicine offers much-needed examination of an important topic.
A high proportion of deaths from anorexia are not from starvation; patients take their own lives, often in the early stages of recovery. Just last week, one of the subjects of the HBO documentary Thin lost her life after years of struggle.
The recent research identifies an important difference between eating disorder subtypes: "restrictive" anorexics are less at risk for suicide attempts. As genetics research advances, many useful diagnostic tools will surely emerge. With an illness with such a high rate of morbidity, any advances are welcome news for patients and families.