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Purpose of review: To review the recent literature about the epidemiology, course, and outcome of eating disorders in accordance with the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Recent findings: The residual category 'eating disorder not otherwise specified' (EDNOS) was the most common DSM-IV eating disorder diagnosis in both clinical and community samples. Several studies have confirmed that the DSM-5 criteria for eating disorders effectively reduce the proportion of EDNOS diagnoses. The lifetime prevalence of DSM-5 anorexia nervosa among women might be up to 4%, and of bulimia nervosa 2%. In a cross-national survey, the average lifetime prevalence of binge eating disorder (BED) was 2%. Both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are associated with increased mortality. Data on long-term outcome, including mortality, are limited for BED. Follow-up studies of BED are scarce; remission rates in randomized controlled trials ranged from 19 to 65% across studies. On a community level, 5-year recovery rates for DSM-5 anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are 69 and 55%, respectively; little is known about the course and outcome of BED in the community.

Summary: Applying the DSM-5 criteria effectively reduces the frequency of the residual diagnosis EDNOS, by lowering the threshold for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, and adding BED as a specified eating disorder. Course and outcome studies of both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa show that no significant differences exist between DSM-5 and DSM-IV definitions.

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