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Int J Eat Disord. 1998 May;23(4):425-32.

Elevated total cholesterol in bulimia nervosa.

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  • 1Virginia Institute of Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0126, USA.



It has been suggested that total serum cholesterol concentrations are elevated in bulimia nervosa. The objectives of this study were to compare cholesterol concentrations in women with bulimia nervosa with those of depressed women and population norms and to determine the dietary correlates of elevated cholesterol concentrations.


126 women with bulimia nervosa and 57 women with major depression participating in clinical trials were studied. Total serum cholesterol concentrations were available for all participants. Prospective 2-week dietary intake analysis was examined for 49 of the bulimic women.


Bulimic women had markedly higher total cholesterol concentrations than depressed women and in comparison to consensus recommendations and population norms. This finding remained highly statistically significant after taking into account an array of potential physical and psychopathological covariates. Dietary analysis suggested that increased total cholesterol concentrations were related to cholesterol and fat intake during binge eating, but not during normal eating.


Bulimic women have higher total cholesterol concentrations that are related to excess cholesterol and fat intake during binge eating.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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