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Int J Eat Disord. 2008 Mar;41(2):174-9.

Familiality and heritability of binge eating disorder: results of a case-control family study and a twin study.

Author information

1
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. javaras@wisc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the familiality and heritability of binge eating disorder (BED).

METHOD:

We used a new ACE structural equation model to estimate heritability from a case-control family study of BED conducted in the Boston area. The sample consisted of 150 overweight/obese probands with lifetime BED by DSM-IV criteria, 150 overweight/obese probands without lifetime BED, and 888 of their first-degree relatives. We compared our findings with those from a study of binge eating (in the absence of compensatory behaviors) among 7,831 Norwegian twins.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of BED differed by sex and by age. In the case-control family study, BED was found to aggregate in families, and heritability was estimated as 57% (CI: 30-77%). Including shared environment did not substantially improve the model's fit, nor did allowing sex-specific heritability. Findings from the twin study were similar.

CONCLUSION:

BED appears to aggregate in families and have a significant genetic component.

PMID:
18095307
DOI:
10.1002/eat.20484
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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