Eating disorders are generally first diagnosed in young people, but a growing number of women now require treatment at midlife or even older, the New York Times reports. While some of these women had eating disorders earlier in life and relapsed, a significant minority are developing symptoms in middle age. Eating disorders disproportionately affect women, who outnumber men by 10 to 1. Patients of all ages tend to engage in destructive behaviour like binge eating, excessive exercise and laxative abuse, often triggered by a stressful transition. As women get older, they’re better at concealing the problem, and certain symptoms can be attributed to aging, which can make it more difficult to diagnose.