We sought to determine the prevalence and clinical correlates of electrocardiographic findings in adolescents with eating disorders.

Study Design.

We undertook matched case–control study of electrocardiographic findings at initial assessment in 62 adolescents with anorexia nervosa, 9 with bulimia nervosa, and 26 with eating disorder not otherwise specified presenting from March 1995 to September 1996.


Mean (± 1 standard deviation) age was 15.0 ± 1.4 years (95% were female). Patients with anorexia nervosa had significantly lower heart rates (mean case–control difference: −20 ± 17 beats per minute), lower R in V6(−2.6 ± 5.5 mm), longer QRS interval (+.004 ± .010 seconds), shorter mean QTc (−.0136 ± .033 seconds) and lesser QTc dispersion (−.010 ± .031 seconds). The bulimia nervosa group had slightly longer mean QTc (.019 ± .020 seconds), with no significant case–control differences in the eating disorder not otherwise specified group.


Electrocardiographic findings are abnormal in adolescents with anorexia nervosa but not in adolescents with bulimia nervosa or eating disorder not otherwise specified.

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