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Evolving evidence and continuing uncertainties for eating disorders

David I Ben-Tovim
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (6): 299-300.
Published online: 18 March 2002

In reply: The commitment of Russell and Abraham to their own program has distracted them from accurate reporting and sound epidemiological principles. They say that the majority of patients that we studied received no treatment. Not so. We clearly stated that only 34 of the 220 patients studied received no treatment.1 They then draw a range of inferences from the fact that "3/95 (3.2%)" patients with anorexia nervosa died. In fact, only 2 of 95 patients with anorexia nervosa died as a consequence of that disorder during the five years of our study. At 2.1%, this is similar to the crude death rate of 1/61 (1.6%) that they describe in their own study.

  • David I Ben-Tovim

  • Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA.

Correspondence: jrussel1@mail.usyd.au

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