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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Apr;158(4):563-9.

Morbidity risk for obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders in first-degree relatives of patients with eating disorders.

Author information

  • 1Istituto Scientifico H. San Raffaele, Department of Neuropsychiatric Sciences, University of Milan School of Medicine, 29 via Prinetti, 20127 Milan, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A hypothesis that eating disorders are a phenomenological variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been proposed. This study was conducted to determine whether anorexia nervosa and bulimia, the two main eating disorders, are familial and whether the risk for obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCD and tic disorders) is higher in families of patients with eating disorders.

METHOD:

The morbidity risk for obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders in first-degree relatives of 136 female probands with eating disorders (84 with anorexia nervosa, 52 with bulimia) was compared to that for first-degree relatives of 72 female comparison subjects.

RESULTS:

The morbidity risk for obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders was significantly higher among the 436 relatives of the eating disorder probands than among the 358 relatives of the comparison subjects (9.69% versus 0%). This finding was independent of any comorbid diagnosis of an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder in the eating disorder probands. The eating disorder group and the comparison group did not differ in familial risk for eating disorders and tic disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

To better understand the genetic components of eating disorders, these disorders should be considered as part of the obsessive-compulsive spectrum of disorders.

PMID:
11282689
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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