Psychiatric comorbidity in treatment-seeking anorexics and bulimics

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1992 Sep;31(5):810-8. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199209000-00006.


Current and lifetime psychiatric diagnoses were compared in 229 female patients seeking treatment for current episodes of anorexia nervosa (N = 41), bulimia nervosa (N = 98) and mixed anorexia nervosa and Schizophrenia-Lifetime Version, which was modified to include a section for DSM-III-R eating disorders, the Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation, and the Structured Interview for DSM-III Personality Disorders. Seventy-three percent of the anorexia nervosa subjects, 60% of the bulimia nervosa subjects, and 82% of the mixed anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa subjects had a current comorbid Axis I diagnosis. Major depression was the most commonly diagnosed comorbid disorder. Low rates of alcohol and substances abuse disorder were diagnosed, and personality disorder occurred in a minority of the sample. The subjects with mixed disorder manifested a higher lifetime prevalence of kleptomania than either the anorexics or the bulimics. High levels of comorbidity were noted across the eating disorder samples. Mixed disorder subjects manifested the most comorbid psychopathology and especially warrant further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Bulimia / epidemiology
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies