Prevalence of Eating Disorders and Psychiatric Comorbidity in a Clinical Sample of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients

Braz J Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;27(2):135-8. doi: 10.1590/s1516-44462005000200012. Epub 2005 Jun 13.


Background: A few studies have shown high rates of eating disorders and psychiatric morbidity in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Objective: Disturbed eating behavior and psychiatric comorbidity in a sample of T2DM patients.

Methods: Seventy type 2 diabetes mellitus patients between 40 and 65 years of age (mean, 52.9 +/- 6.8) from a diabetes outpatient clinic were sequentially evaluated. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, Binge Eating Scale and Beck Depression Inventory were used to assess eating disorders and other psychiatric comorbidity. In addition to the descriptive analysis of the data, we compared groups divided based on the presence of obesity (evaluated by the body mass index) or an eating disorder.

Results: Twenty percent of the sample displayed an eating disorder. Binge eating disorder was the predominant eating disorder diagnosis (10%). Overall, the group of obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus presented rates of psychiatric comorbidity comparable to those seen in their nonobese counterparts. However, the presence of an eating disorder was associated with a significant increase in the frequency of anxiety disorders (57.1% x 28.6%; p = 0.044).

Conclusions: In our study sample, the occurrence of eating disorders was increased compared to rates observed in the general population, with the predominance of binge eating disorder. The presence of an eating disorder in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients was associated with higher rates of anxiety disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric