Menstrual Cycle Resumption After Anorexia Predicted by BMI, Fat Percentage

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BMI and body fat percentage may predict menstrual cycle recovery in women with a history of anorexia nervosa.
BMI and body fat percentage may predict menstrual cycle recovery in women with a history of anorexia nervosa.

(HealthDay News) — For patients with a history of anorexia nervosa, both BMI and fat percentage can predict resumption of the menstrual cycle, according to a study published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Laura Al-Dakhiel Winkler, MD, from Odense University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the correlation between body composition measures and menstrual status in 113 women with a history of anorexia nervosa. Participants underwent a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and completed questionnaires relating to medication prescription and menstrual function.

The researchers found that 50% of participants were expected to resume menstrual function at a BMI of 19 kg/m² or a fat percentage of 23%. The expected resumption of menstrual function was at a body mass index of 14 kg/m² or a fat percentage of 11% for 25% of participants. Prediction of resumption of menses was equivalent for BMI and fat percentage.

"Fat percentage and BMI were positive predictors of the resumption of menses; however, body composition measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry was not superior to BMI in predicting menstrual recovery, which is of great clinical relevance as BMI is easier and cheaper to obtain," the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Al-Dakhiel Winkle L, Frølich JS, Schulpen M, Støving RK. Body composition and menstrual status in adults with a history of anorexia nervosa—At what fat percentage is the menstrual cycle restored? Int J Eat Disord. 2016. doi:10.1002/eat.22600.
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