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Keywords:

  • anxiety;
  • psychoactive substance use disorder;
  • comorbidity;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • depression

Abstract

Objective

This study considered whether the prevalence and type of anxiety and psychoactive substance use disorder (PSUD) diagnoses differ between women with spectrum anorexia nervosa (AN) (N=40) and women with major depressive disorder (N = 58) participating in outpatient clinical trials.

Method

Anxiety and PSUD diagnoses (according to criteria in the 3rd Rev. ed. of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) were assessed using structured clinical interviews. Comparisons were made between AN subtypes (restricting or binge eating/purging) and by history of depression within the AN sample.

Results

A high prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was found in women with AN. However, social phobia, simple phobia, and PSUD were significantly elevated in both women with depression and women with AN. Prevalences were similar for anxiety and PSUD diagnoses between AN subtypes.

Discussion

Women with anorexia or depression were comparable in all respects, except for the elevated OCD prevalence in AN, emphasizing the need to use clinical comparison groups to avoid inadvertently attributing elevated prevalences of comorbid conditions to specific disorders. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 211–219, 2003.