Medically treated anorexia nervosa is associated with normal P wave parameters

Moshe Nussinovitch, Eitan Gur, Naomi Nussinovitch, Keren Kaminer, Benjamin Volovitz, Udi Nussinovitch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an increasingly common medical condition. Some studies have demonstrated an increased prevalence of atrial premature contractions and anatomical changes in AN patients. Our aim was to investigate P wave parameters and P wave dispersion, an electrocardiographic marker for supraventricular arrhythmias, and its effect on AN. The study group included 48 patients with AN, most hospitalized for a few weeks, and a matched control group. All participants underwent 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG) under strict standards. P wave length and P wave dispersion in each patient were computed from a randomly selected beat and an averaged beat, constructed from 7 to 12. beats, included in a 10-s ECG. There were no statistically significant differences found between the groups for minimal, maximal, average P wave duration and P wave dispersion, calculated either from a random beat or averaged beats. In conclusion, medically treated AN patients who have gained weight have normal P wave parameters, and therefore do not appear to have an increased electrocardiographic risk for atrial fibrillation compared with healthy controls. Further studies are required to evaluate the influence of different disease stages, electrolyte imbalance and other medical complications on P wave parameters and risk for supraventricular arrhythmias in AN patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-262
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 30 Jul 2012


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • P wave dispersion


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