Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Eat Disord. 2006 Jan;39(1):11-9.

Comorbidity of body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders: severity of psychopathology and body image disturbance.

Author information

Butler Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island 02906, USA.



The current study examined comorbidity and clinical correlates of eating disorders in a large sample of individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).


Two hundred individuals with DSM-IV (4th ed. of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 1994) BDD completed reliable interviewer-administered and self-report measures, including diagnostic assessments and measures of body image, symptom severity, delusionality, psychosocial functioning, quality of life (QOL), and history of psychiatric treatment.


A total of 32.5% of BDD subjects had a comorbid lifetime eating disorder: 9.0% had anorexia nervosa, 6.5% had bulimia nervosa, and 17.5% had an eating disorder not otherwise specified. Comparisons of subjects with a comorbid lifetime eating disorder (n = 65) and subjects without an eating disorder (n = 135) indicated that the comorbid group was more likely to be female, less likely to be African American, had more comorbidity, and had significantly greater body image disturbance and dissatisfaction. There were no significant group differences in BDD symptom severity, degree of delusionality, or suicidal ideation or attempts. Functioning and QOL were notably poor in both groups, with no significant between-group differences. However, a higher proportion of the comorbid eating disorder group had been hospitalized for psychiatric problems. This group had also received a greater number of psychotherapy sessions and psychotropic medications.


Eating disorders appear relatively common in individuals with BDD. BDD subjects with a comorbid eating disorder differed on several demographic variables, had greater comorbidity and body image disturbance, and had received more mental health treatment than subjects without a comorbid eating disorder. These findings have important implications for the assessment and treatment of these comorbid body image disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center