Familial aggregation in the night eating syndrome




This study examined the extent to which the night eating syndrome (NES) affects first-degree relatives of NES and control probands.


NES participants and controls were assessed with the Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ), the Night Eating Syndrome History and Inventory (NESHI), 10 day sleep and food records, the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE), the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV Axis I Disorders (SCID I), and a Family History Questionnaire (FHQ) to assess the presence of NES among first-degree relatives. A proband predictive model, using logistic regression analyses and the generalized estimating equation to control for correlation among observations within families was used to assess familial aggregation.


The odds of an NES proband having an affected first-degree relative were significantly greater than that of a control proband (odds ratio = 4.9, p < .001). A number of covariates were included in the model: proband body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2), proband gender, proband age, proband ethnicity, first-degree relative gender, relationship to proband (i.e., mother, father, or sibling), and the interaction between relationship to proband and proband status (night eater or control); none was statistically significant (p > .05).


The study showed a strong aggregation of NES in families. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006