Objective: This study examined eating disorders and their psychiatric comorbidity in a national sample of hospitalized male veterans.
Method: Review of discharge summaries for 466,590 male patients from Veterans Affairs medical centers for fiscal year 1996 resulted in the identification of 98 men with a current ICD-9-CM diagnosis of an eating disorder. For the comorbidity analyses, eating disorder cases were matched with controls drawn randomly from the pool of male patients without an eating disorder, using age and race as matching variables.
Results: There was a high rate of comorbid substance use and mood disorder for men with anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Men with AN were also at high risk for comorbid schizophrenia/psychotic disorder, men with BN were at risk for comorbid personality disorder, and men with EDNOS were at special risk for comorbid organic mental disorder and schizophrenia/psychotic disorder.
Discussion: For each eating disorder, there was a distinct pattern of psychiatric comorbidity that deserves further study.