Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: a risk factor in anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa? An empirical study of 116 women

J Psychosom Res. 1990;34(5):535-41. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(90)90028-3.


A number of recent studies suggest that diabetes mellitus confers a high risk for the development of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. In order to test this hypothesis, 56 women with IDDM and 60 non-diabetic female controls were studied. All subjects completed the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT), and the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh (BITE). The subjects were interviewed in order to obtain clinical and demographic information as well as to determine test validity. The DSM-III-R criteria of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa were used. Four items were removed from the original EAT in order to eliminate possible bias related to IDDM. The results did not support the hypothesis that eating disturbances occur more frequently in IDDM-patients. Six criteria are proposed to improve the methodological standards of future studies in order to facilitate comparison of results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia / diagnosis
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diet, Diabetic / psychology
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Personality Tests
  • Risk Factors