Oxidative stress and antioxidant levels in patients with anorexia nervosa: A systematic review and exploratory meta-analysis

Nicola Veronese, Enzo Manzato, Nicola Veronese, Angela Favaro, Marco Solmi, Christoph U. Correll, Paolo Santonastaso, Giuseppe Sergi

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To systematically review and meta-analyze oxidative stress and antioxidant markers in anorexia nervosa (AN). Methods Electronic PubMed search from database inception until 12/31/2013. Out of 1062 hits, 29 studies comparing oxidative stress/antioxidant markers between patients with AN and healthy controls (HCs) with a total of 1,729 participants (AN-=-895, HCs-=-834) were eligible. Data about oxidative stress and antioxidant markers, independent of their source, were extracted. We calculated random effects standardized mean differences (SMDs) as effect size measures for outcomes reported in ≥5 studies; others were summarized descriptively. Results Compared to HCs, AN patients showed significantly higher apolipoprotein B (ApoB) levels (studies-=-7; n-=-551; SMD-=-0.75; p-=-.0003, I2-=-74%), with higher age being associated with higher ApoB (Coefficient: 0.61-±-0.15, p-<-.0001), whereas BMI (p-=-.15) and measurement method (p-=-.70) did not moderate the results. Serum albumin levels were similar between AN and HCs (studies-=-13; n-=-509; SMD-=-0.19; 95%CI: -0.62 to 0.24; p-=-.38; I2-=-81%), with neither age (p-=-.84) nor BMI (p-=-.52) being significant moderators. Lower superoxide dismutase levels were reported in 2 studies, while findings for vitamin A and its metabolites were inconclusive. In single studies, patients with AN had significantly higher catalase and nitric oxide (NO) parameter levels (platelet NO, exhaled NO and nitrites), such as lower glutathione and free cysteine levels, compared to HCs. Discussion AN appears to be associated with some markers of increased oxidative stress. Additional research is needed to discern whether oxidative stress is a potential cause or effect of AN, and whether treatments improving oxidative stress could be useful in AN. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-841
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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