Comorbidity of bulimia nervosa and alcohol use disorders: results from the National Women's Study

Int J Eat Disord. 2000 Mar;27(2):180-90. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-108x(200003)27:2<180::aid-eat6>;2-z.


Objective: The nature of the relationship between bulimia nervosa (BN) and alcohol abuse/alcohol dependence (AA/AD) and the extent to which women with BN+AA differ from women with BN-AA were examined in a national sample of women (N = 3,006).

Method: The sample of was generated by multistage geographic sampling and interviews were conducted by telephone.

Results: AA was higher in women with BN compared to women without BN or binge eating disorder, only when the influence of major depressive disorder (MDD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was controlled. Prevalence rates of AA and AD were similar in women with BN, MDD, and PTSD. Analyses indicated that the relationship between BN and AA/AD may be indirect and influenced by associations with MDD and PTSD. Women with BN+AA did not differ from those with BN-AA on most variables concerning victimization, family of origin, and disordered eating.

Discussion: Evaluation of MDD and PTSD in women presenting for treatment of BN and/or alcohol use disorders (AUDs) is recommended.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / therapy
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / epidemiology*
  • Bulimia / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States / epidemiology