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Behav Sci (Basel). 2017 Jul 18;7(3). pii: E46. doi: 10.3390/bs7030046.

Exploring Relationships between Recurrent Binge Eating and Illicit Substance Use in a Non-Clinical Sample of Women over Two Years.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia. 17812812@student.westernsydney.edu.au.
2
School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia. H.Mannan@westernsydney.edu.au.
3
Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia. H.Mannan@westernsydney.edu.au.
4
Translational Health Research Institute (THRI), School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Penrith NSW 2751, Australia. p.hay@westernsydney.edu.au.

Abstract

(1) Background: With the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), numerous parallels have been drawn between recurrent binge eating (RBE) and substance use disorders, with many authors examining RBE or binge eating disorder (BED) as a "food addiction". The present study aims to clarify the relationship between recurrent binge eating (RBE) and illicit substance use (ISU) through investigating the temporal association between the two problems. (2) Methods: This study was embedded within a larger longitudinal study of non-clinical adult women recruited from Australian tertiary institutions. Participants responded at year 2 and year 4 of follow-up to the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire. ISU was measured using a modified questionnaire taken from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. (3) Results: RBE and ISU co-morbidity was 5.88% in this non-clinical sample, and having one condition increased the likelihood of the other. The two conditions had a different trajectory over two years whereby ISU participants had significant risk of developing RBE in addition to or in place of their ISU but the reverse was not found for RBE participants. (4) Conclusion: This unidirectional relationship suggests that in spite of the similarities of RBE and ISU they may be distinct with respect to their co-morbidity over time.

KEYWORDS:

binge eating disorder; co-morbidity; illicit substance use; longitudinal; recurrent binge eating; symptom trajectory

Conflict of interest statement

H.K.L. declares no conflict of interest. P.H. receives sessional fees and lecture fees from the Australian Medical Council, Therapeutic Guidelines publication, and New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry and royalties from Hogrefe and Huber, McGraw Hill Education, and Blackwell Scientific Publications, and she has received research grants from the NHMRC and ARC. She is Deputy Chair of the National Eating Disorders Collaboration steering committee in Australia (2012–2017).

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