Cardiovascular disorders in anorexia nervosa and potential therapeutic targets

Giovanni Di Cola, Francesca Jacoangeli, Fabrizio Jacoangeli, Mauro Lombardo, Ferdinando Iellamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder in which a distorted self-perception of body image and an excessive fear of gaining weight result in extreme restrictions in eating habits. AN may be divided into two types: a “binge-eating/purging type” during which the individual regularly engages in overeating and then purging behavior, and a “restricting type”, in which she does not. AN is a serious medical problem in young people in Western societies. It is widely reported that patients with AN exhibit an enhanced mortality rate as compared with age-matched healthy subjects, which has been mainly ascribed to cardiac complications. At least one-third of all deaths in patients with anorexia nervosa are estimated to be due to cardiac causes, mainly sudden death. Cardiovascular complications of AN can be present in up to 80 % of cases, and among them alterations in cardiac electrical activity, structure and hemodynamics have been reported as causes of morbidity and mortality. The objective of this brief review is to summarize current knowledge on the main cardiovascular complications of AN, their underlying mechanisms and the possible therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-721
Number of pages5
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2014


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Cardiac complication
  • Clinical management
  • Mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiovascular disorders in anorexia nervosa and potential therapeutic targets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this