Comorbidity of axis I psychiatric disorders in bulimia nervosa.J Clin Psychiatry. 1995 Feb; 56(2):77-80.JC
The coexistence of other psychiatric disorders in patients with bulimia nervosa is of major clinical and theoretical interest. We therefore studied a group of consecutively evaluated bulimic patients.
The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID) was administered to a sample of 59 female patients with DSM-III-R-defined bulimia nervosa.
The following frequencies of lifetime Axis I comorbid diagnoses were found (in decreasing frequency): any affective disorder (75%), major depressive disorder (63%), any anxiety disorder (36%), any substance abuse disorder (20%), social phobia (17%), generalized anxiety disorder (12%), and panic disorder (10%). In the 44 cases with an affective disorder, 27 (61%) had the onset of affective disorder, 27 (61%) had the onset of their affective disorder prior to the onset of their bulimia, 15 (34%) afterward, and 2 (5%) concurrently. In the 21 cases with any anxiety disorder, 15 (71%) had the onset of their anxiety disorder prior to the onset of their bulimia, 4 (19%) afterward, and 2 (10%) concurrently.
These data confirm previous reports of a strong association between bulimia nervosa and affective illness, which in most cases precedes the eating disorder. In addition, a high frequency of anxiety disorders, particularly social phobia, is seen in bulimic patients.