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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorders;
  • duration of eating disorders;
  • comorbidity

Abstract

Objective

This study explored the comorbidity of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders (ED) and examined the relationship between OCD comorbidity and the duration of ED. Subjects with OCD were expected to show a longer history of ED.

Method

ED females (N = 237; 84 with anorexia nervosa and 153 with bulimia nervosa) were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders (SCID-1). Data were analyzed by logistic regression to determine whether OCD comorbidity is associated with duration of ED.

Results

The total sample showed a prevalence rate for OCD of 29.5%. OCD prevalence did not differ between anorexic and bulimic subjects. OCD comorbidity was significantly associated with a longer history of ED.

Conclusion

The findings of the study support previous research indicating a high comorbidity of ED with OCD. The results also suggest that OCD may play a role in the course of ED. Prospective studies are necessary to examine this hypothesis further. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 31: 284–289, 2002; DOI 10.1002/eat.10013