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Appalachia Health News tells the story of our health challenges and how we overcome them throughout the region. 

Questionnaire Helps Identify Eating Disorders In Pregnant Patients


Some estimates indicate that approximately five percent of pregnant women suffer from eating disorders (ED). Now, a team of researchers with the WVU School of Public Health and School of Medicine have developed a 12-question screener to help identify those patients.

The screening tool will give clinicians a fast, accurate way to determine if pregnant patients need care from an eating disorder specialist.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, an eating disorder during pregnancy increases the risk of complications for both the pregnant patient and their child, including preterm birth and low birthweight. Risks for the pregnant person include

West Virginia already has one of the highest preterm-birth rates in the nation, and a low-birthweight rate that exceeds the national average.

Estimates suggest that at least five percent of women experience some type of eating disorder during pregnancy. When the researchers published their findings in the “Archives of Women’s Mental Health”, they pointed out that other estimates are much broader from 0.6 to 27.8 percent, “indicating the challenges in identifying an ED in this population.”

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