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Int J Psychiatry Med. 1986-1987;16(1):49-57.

Eating disorders in female adolescents with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.


Recent case reports have suggested an association between anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Fifty-eight females aged fifteen to twenty-two with IDDM for more than one year were assessed for the presence of eating disorders. Patients were screened for eating and weight pathology using the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) and Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26). Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1) was measured to assess metabolic control. Subjects who scored above the cut-off points associated with eating and weight pathology were interviewed. Clinically significant eating and weight pathology was found in 20.7 percent of the population. Of these subjects, anorexia nervosa was found in 6.9 percent and the syndrome of bulimia, based on DSM-III criteria, was found in 6.9 percent. In patients with bulimia, there was a strong inverse correlation between bulimic symptoms and metabolic control. These findings suggest that anorexia nervosa may be more common in female adolescents with IDDM than in nondiabetic populations and that bulimic symptoms may be a risk factor for poor metabolic control.

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