More Adolescents Are Being Hospitalized During COVID-19 Due to Eating Disorders

August 4, 2021 13:20:53

A new study suggests that the number of teenagers who have been admitted to the hospital for serious illnesses caused by eating disorders has substantially grown during the coronavirus pandemic period. The research, which was published in the “Pediatrics” journal, found that in one hospital, admissions among adolescents who suffer from eating disorders had doubled during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center, Michigan Medicine, stated that while admissions linked to eating disorders in the years 2017 to 2019 averaged about 55 individuals annually, the center had recorded more than 120 hospitalizations in the pandemic’s first year, with all patients aged between 10 and 23.

Alana Otto, an adolescent medicine physician at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital who is also the lead author of the study, stated that the team’s results highlight how the pandemic has affected young people who experienced social isolation and cancelled extracurricular activities, in addition to school closures. Otto notes that these disruptions may have triggered or worsened symptoms for teenagers at risk of eating disorders or those with eating disorders.

The researcher adds that their data only represents a small percentage of adolescents afflicted by eating disorders and were impacted by the pandemic as they only included teenagers who were hospitalized due to serious illness.

Otto explained that the research proposed that the adverse effects of this pandemic on mental well-being could be intense for young people having eating disorders. The research also suggests that during the first year of the pandemic, the admission rate at the hospital increased steadily, with the highest rate being recorded between nine and twelve months after the pandemic’s onset.

Social influences, psychological factors and genetics have all been associated with the development of eating disorders. Teenagers with depressive symptoms or low self-esteem are known to be more susceptible to these disorders.

Otto explained that a stressful occurrence, such as the pandemic, could cause symptoms of these disorders to develop in young individuals who are already at risk of developing eating disorders. The changes to their daily lives that were brought about by the pandemic could also disrupt routines associated with exercise and eating, leading to the development of unhealthy eating behaviors among adolescents who are already at risk.

The researchers advise providers who care for teens and adolescents to monitor patients for symptoms and signs of an eating disorder as well as be aware of these risks. The common eating disorders include bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Symptoms include purging to lose weight, exercising excessively or dietary restrictions.

Otto noted that admissions would probably decrease once teenagers were able to go back to school and engage with their friends and in activities they found meaningful.

Additionally, a new class of psychedelics-based medicines being advanced by companies such as Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) is designed to combat eating disorders right from their neurological source, which may provide lasting relief to patients.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) available in the company’s newsroom at

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