TUESDAY, July 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There's a link between the eating disorder anorexia nervosa and metabolism, a new study finds.
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"It means that when we think about anorexia nervosa we need to be thinking that it is not only a psychiatric disorder, but also a metabolic disorder," lead researcher Cynthia Bulik told CNN.
She and her colleagues examined the DNA of nearly 17,000 people with anorexia and 55,000 people without the eating disorder.
They pinpointed eight genetic markers that connect anorexia with some genetic factors that also affect the risk for psychiatric disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety. But they also found genetic factors linking anorexia to high physical activity and metabolic traits such as a low body mass index (BMI), CNN reported.
The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics.
Anorexia is commonly treated as a purely mental health disorder, but these new findings connecting the disorder with metabolism could help improve treatment and save lives, according to CNN.
Further research is needed to learn more about metabolism's role in anorexia and how it influences the risk of the eating disorder.
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