OBJECTIVE: This study investigated demographic and diagnostic characteristics of individuals whose medical record or death certificate indicated the presence of anorexia nervosa at the time of death.
METHOD: Two national registers, the National Patient Register (NPR) and the Causes of Death Register (CODR), were examined in Norway for anorexia nervosa-related deaths occurring across a 9-year period (1992-2000).
RESULTS: The medical record or death certificate listed anorexia nervosa as a diagnosis or cause of death for 66 individuals. Rates of death were 6.46 and 9.93 per 100,000 deaths for the NPR and the CODR, respectively. A substantial percentage of deaths (43.9%) in both registers occurred at or above the age of 65 years. For the NPR, the mean age at the time of death was 61 years and 31% of deaths occurred among men. For the CODR, the mean age at the time of death was 49 years and 18% of deaths occurred among men.
DISCUSSION: Potential merits and shortcomings of assessing mortality rates using register-based data without linkage to a previously identified clinical sample are discussed.