CitationTabler, Jennifer; Schmitz, Rachel M.; Geist, Claudia; Utz, Rebecca L.; & Smith, Ken R. (2018). Reproductive outcomes among women with eating disorders or disordered eating behavior: Does methodological approach shape research findings?. Journal of Women's Health. vol. 27 (11) pp. 1389-1399
AbstractBackground: There is a well-documented link between eating disorders (EDs) and adverse health outcomes, including fertility difficulties. These findings stem largely from clinical data or samples using a clinical measure (e.g., diagnosis) of EDs, which may limit our understanding of how EDs or disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) shape female fertility. Methods: We compared reproductive outcomes from two longitudinal data sources, clinical and population-based data from the Utah Population Database (UPDB) (N?=?6,046), and nonclinical community-based data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Young Adult Health (Add Health) (N?=?5,951). We examined age at first birth using Cox regression and parity using negative binomial regression. Results: Using the UPDB data, women with diagnosed ED experienced later ages of first birth (hazard rate ratio [HRR]?=?0.38; p?0.01) and lower parity (incidence rate ratio [IRR]?=?0.38; p?0.01) relative to women without EDs. Using the Add Health sample, women who self-reported DEB experienced earlier age of first birth (HRR?=?1.16; p?0.05) and higher parity (IRR?=?1.17; p?0.01) relative to women without DEB. Conclusions: Conflicting results suggest two sets of mechanisms, physical/biological (sex specific) and social/behavioral (gender specific), may be simultaneously shaping the reproductive outcomes of women with histories of EDs or DEB. Discipline-specific methodology likely shapes Women's Health research outcomes.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Women's Health
Schmitz, Rachel M.
Utz, Rebecca L.
Smith, Ken R.