Binge eating disorder in elderly individuals


  • This study was supported through a LCOH funded grant.

  • SL. McElroy is a consultant to, or member of the scientific advisory boards, and/or a principal or co-investigator on research studies sponsored by Abbott Laboratories, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), Alkermes, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cephalon, Eli Lilly Inc., Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmith-Kline, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Marriott Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Pfizer, Orexigen Therapeutics, Schering-Plough, Shire, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and Transcept Pharmaceutical, Inc. She is also inventor on United States Patent No. 6,323,236 B2, Use of Sulfamate Derivatives for Treating Impulse Control Disorders, and, along with the patient's assignee, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, has received payments from Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., which has exclusive rights under the patent. All other authors report no conflicts of interest with this work.



To preliminarily describe the clinical features of elderly individuals with binge eating disorder (BED).


The psychological and general medical characteristics of 20 elderly individuals (65 years of age and older) who met DSM-IV-TR for BED were systematically evaluated.


Elderly individuals with BED reported an average (SD) of 4.5 (2.9) binge eating episodes per week. Weight and shape concerns were of significant importance for participants' schema for self-evaluation. Mood disorders were the most frequent co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Despite having a mean (SD) body mass index of 36.4 (10.6), most participants presented in good general medical health.


Regarding eating pathology, psychiatric comorbidity, and associated obesity, BED in this group of elderly individuals was similar to BED in younger adults. However, other than presenting with obesity, the participants reported good general medical health. BED might be a problem for a subset of physically healthy elderly individuals. Studies further examining psychiatric and medical presentation, including metabolic profile, of elderly individuals with BED may be warranted. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012;45:905–908)