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Denver doctors trying to ‘wrap their heads around’ surge in eating disorders among area teens

May 6, 2021
Fox 31 Denver
Jeana Cost, MS, LPC, CEDS, Vice President of Operations and Clinical Services at ACUTE, spoke with Fox 31 Denver about the recent surge in eating disorders in young people.

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There’s growing concern about the number of teens in the metro area struggling with eating disorders during the pandemic.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, its helpline has experienced a 40% spike in overall call volumes since March 2020.

When you break down the numbers over the last year, you’ll find 35% of those callers were between the ages of 13-17.

According to the association, that’s a 30% spike in teens compared to the year prior to the pandemic.

Officials at Denver Health say they’re experiencing similar numbers.

”We’ve always accepted air ambulance into our hospital because we take so many patients from out of the state and out of the country. Prior to COVID happening, about 15 to 20 percent of our patients were air ambulanced into Denver Health. Since COVID we’ve seen that number jump up to 60% of our patients get air ambulanced in,” said Jeana Cost, Executive Director of the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health.

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ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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