Differences between bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder in females with type 1 diabetes: the important role of insulin omission

J Psychosom Res. 1999 Sep;47(3):221-31. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(99)00031-8.


This study explored the differences between bulimia nervosa ("BN," n=22) and binge-eating disorder ("BED," n=11) in type 1 diabetic females and the factors most predictive of poor glycemic control in patients suffering from these disorders. These two groups and a control group without eating disorders (n=32) were compared across a number of demographic, psychological, and medical variables. BN manifested significantly more severe disturbances related to eating disorders, depression, anxiety, a higher rate of co-occurring mental disorders, and poorer psychosocial functioning compared with BED. BN also showed poorer glycemic control. Multivariate analysis indicated that higher serum glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels were most associated with the presence of severe insulin omission in type 1 diabetic females with binge eating. Clinicians may be able to determine the psychological/medical severity of illness in these patients by identifying the presence of compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain such as severe insulin omission, as described in the DSM-IV.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Bulimia / blood
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diet, Diabetic / psychology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / blood
  • Hyperphagia / psychology*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Sick Role
  • Weight Gain


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin