The course and outcome of anorexia nervosa
vary among individuals: some fully recover after a single episode; some have a fluctuating pattern of weight gain and relapse. Others experience a chronically deteriorating course of the illness over many years. The mortality rate among people with anorexia has been estimated at 0.56 percent per year, or approximately 5.6 percent per decade, which is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15 to 24 in the general population. The most common causes of death are complications of the disorder, such as cardiac arrest or electrolyte imbalance, and suicide.