Compelling evidence has suggested a role for serotonin system dysfunction in the pathogenesis of eating disorders (EDs), including anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). Studies have examined the association between EDs and a functional polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene promoter (5-HTTLPR). These studies have yielded inconsistent results. The present study aimed to determine conclusively whether there is an association by using a meta-analytic method.
Data of over 2,000 participants from eight independent case–controlassociation studies were pooled by using a random effects model.
AN was found to be significantly associated with the S allele (p < .001) and S carrier (SS + LS) genotype (p = .007). However, BN was associated neither with the S allele (p = .49) nor with the S carrier genotype (p = .33).
These results suggested that the genetic variance of the serotonin transporter gene promoter contributed to the susceptibility of AN. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010; 43:498–504