Comorbidity between eating disorders and anxiety disorders: a review

Int J Eat Disord. 2002 Nov;32(3):253-70. doi: 10.1002/eat.10096.


Objective: We conducted a critical literature review on studies assessing the prevalence of anxiety disorders (AD) in subjects with eating disorders (ED) (anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa). In the first part, we discuss methodological issues relevant to comorbidity studies between ED and AD. In the second part, taking into account these methodological considerations raised, we summarize the findings of these studies.

Method: We performed a manual and computerized search (Medline) for all published studies on comorbidity between ED and AD, limiting our search from 1985-2001 to get sufficiently homogeneous diagnostic criteria for both categories of disorders.

Results: Too few studies include control groups and few studies have compared diagnostic subgroups of ED subjects, with scarce or conflicting results.

Discussion: We discuss the results taking into account the methodological problems observed. We give guidelines for reviewing the results of published studies and planing future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales