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Compr Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;54(3):276-81. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2012.07.014. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Prevalence of night eating in obese individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, ConnecticutMental Health Center, CT, USA.


The prevalence of Night Eating Syndrome (NES) in the general population is estimated to be 1.5%, however, the rates among individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are not yet established. This study sought to examine the frequency and correlates of NES-related behaviors in a sample of obese patients with schizophrenia. One-hundred outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders completed the self-report Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ) and were then interviewed as a follow-up for the specific assessment of NES. Based on a diagnostic interview, 12% of this sample met full criteria for NES, with an additional 10% meeting partial criteria for NES. Based on the NEQ alone, 8% met full criteria with an additional 8% meeting partial criteria. Night eating behaviors were associated with increased insomnia and depression. Our findings suggest that screening for NES among patients with serious mental illness may efficiently identify a subgroup with additional clinical needs.

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