Increasing hospital admission rates for anorexia nervosa amongst young women in Australia from 1998 to 2018

Martin Nguyen, Stephen Allison, Jeffrey C.L. Looi, Tarun Bastiampillai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aims to describe the trends in community incidence, community prevalence, mortality, overnight hospital admission rates and average overnight inpatient length of stay (ALOS) for anorexia nervosa (AN) amongst young females aged 15-29 in Australia, between 1998–2018. Methods: Hospitalisation and ALOS data was obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare principal data cubes. Epidemiological data relating to community-level incidence, community-level prevalence, disability adjusted life years (DALY) and mortality were obtained from the Global Health Data Exchange. We analysed the community and hospital rates for AN in 3 female age groups, 15-19, 20-24 and 25-29. Results: Overnight hospital female admission rates for AN have substantially increased over the past two decades, with a higher rate increase between 2008-2018 for 15-29 age groups. The largest absolute increases were seen in the 15-19 female age group. Community prevalence and DALYs increased slightly, whilst community incidence has remained relatively stable. During the study period, mortality rates and the average hospital inpatient length of stay for AN declined for females 15-29 years. Conclusion: Overnight hospitalisation rates for AN particularly increased amongst young females (15-29) in Australia over the past decade. Less substantial increases in community incidence, community prevalence and DALYs, and declining mortality were also observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-471
Number of pages10
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date28 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • anorexia nervosa
  • average length of stay
  • disability adjusted life years
  • hospital admission rates
  • incidence
  • mortality
  • prevalence


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