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Einstein (São Paulo)

Print version ISSN 1679-4508On-line version ISSN 2317-6385


NASCIMENTO, Vanigleidson Silva do et al. Association between eating disorders, suicide and depressive symptoms in undergraduate students of health-related courses. Einstein (São Paulo) [online]. 2020, vol.18, eAO4908.  Epub Dec 20, 2019. ISSN 1679-4508.


To identify symptoms of eating disorders and potential associations with risk of suicide and depressive symptoms in undergraduate students of health-related courses.


A cross-sectional study involving 271 students. The following instruments were used to identify symptoms of eating disorders: Eating Attitudes Test-26 and Bulimic Investigatory Test of Edinburgh. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview were used to screen for depressive symptoms and risk of suicide, respectively. Participants answered a questionnaire aimed to collect biodemographic data for economic classification of the sample.


Symptoms of eating disorders and bulimia nervosa were detected in 7.4% and 29.1% of students, respectively. Approximately 17.3% of students had symptoms of major depression, and 13.6% were at risk of suicide to some extent; risk of suicide was thought to be low in 7.4%, moderate in 0.7% and high in 5.5% of students in this subset. The risk of eating disorder development was correlated with the risk of suicide (p<0.001).


Undergraduate students at risk of developing eating disorders, or with symptoms suggestive of depression, are more prone to commit suicide.

Keywords : Feeding and eating disorders; Depression; Suicide; Students, health occupations.

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