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Psychiatry Res. 2003 Mar 25;117(3):245-58.

Anxiety disorders in subjects seeking treatment for eating disorders: a DSM-IV controlled study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, 42 boulevard Jourdan, 75014, Paris, France.


Women who were referred with an eating disorder (ED) were compared with a matched normal control group to answer the following questions: What are the frequencies of anxiety disorders in cases of anorexia and bulimia nervosa diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria? Are anxiety disorders significantly more frequent among women with an eating disorder than among women from the community? We assessed the frequencies of six specific anxiety disorders among 271 women with a current diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia nervosa and 271 controls, using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, French DSM-IV version. A lifetime comorbidity with at least one anxiety disorder was found in 71% of both the anorexic and the bulimic subjects, significantly higher than the percentage of controls with an anxiety disorder. The prevalence was significantly higher in the eating disorder groups than in controls for most types of anxiety disorder, and between 41.8 and 53.3% of comorbid cases had an anxiety disorder preceding the onset of the eating disorder. Anxiety disorders are significantly more frequent in subjects with eating disorders than in volunteers from the community, a finding that has important etiological and therapeutic implications.

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