• We studied 43 consecutive individuals with eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia) for the presence of mitral valve prolapse and/or cardiac arrhythmias by physical examination, M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiography, and 24-hour continuous ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. Ten of the 43 had findings of mitral valve prolapse on resting cardiac auscultation. Echocardiographic evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse in these ten as well as in six other individuals, giving an overall incidence of 37% (16/43). Similar echocardiographic findings were present in only 4% (1/23) of control individuals. Cardiac arrhythmias other than benign isolated premature extrasystoles were noted in five patients with eating disorder; all five also had echocardiographic findings of mitral valve prolapse. The incidence of mitral valve prolapse appears to be increased in patients with eating disorders. In addition, the arrhythmogenic effects of mitral valve prolapse may present an additional risk factor in these patients.
(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:1525-1529)