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Approved research

Eating Disorders in Biobank

Principal Investigator: Dr Jacinta Tan
Approved Research ID: 13161
Approval date: November 1st 2016

Lay summary

Eating disorders have the highest mortality of all mental disorders yet remain underdiagnosed in the community. Sufferers experience ambivalence and stigmatization and many do not seek treatment, while others may resist attempts to obtain help. Eating disorders can cause significant levels of loss of function in both psychological and physical domains. It is important to understand better the effects of having of eating disorders in the community and their long term effects. Our primary research objective is to investigate the relationship between self-reporting ever having had an eating disorder (ED) and longterm physical health, psychological health and general wellbeing. Many people suffering from eating disorders are unseen by services and uncounted in service planning, organization and delivery, while others receive intensive treatment. Studies of longterm outcomes of eating disorders tend to identify patients through secondary care. There are clear public health and policy implications if people who do not engage with specialist services remain ?unseen? and their needs remain unmet and un-researched. Utilising UK Biobank's cohort to study individuals who have ever having had an eating disorder will advance understanding of the effects on health and wellbeing for both those seen or unseen by the healthcare system. A case control method will be used with the participants who have self-identified as having had a diagnosed eating disorder. Each individual will be matched with 4 participants within the Biobank database who do not self-declare as having had an eating disorder but have similar characteristics such as gender, age, socioeconomic class of family of origin and healthcare provision catchment area. The two groups will be examined and compared with respect to occupational status, physical health, cognitive measures, mental health status, and other measures. They will also be compared with respect to inpatient admissions and quality of life. The whole full cohort will be requested, from which a case-control dataset will be determined. In the UK Biobank cohort of 500,000 there are currently about 400 participants with self-reported ?Anorexia/bulimia/other eating disorder?, this may increase when the online mental health focused questionnaire data becomes available. 4 control individuals matched for age, gender, socioeconomic status and healthcare provision catchment area per case will be selected. This will equate to approximately 2,000 individuals within Biobank's cohort.