Get access

Comorbidity of eating disorders with bipolar disorder and treatment implications

Authors

  • Susan L McElroy,

    1. Psychopharmacology Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Renu Kotwal,

    1. Psychopharmacology Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paul E Keck Jr

    1. Psychopharmacology Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    2. Mental Health Care Line and General Clinical Research Center, Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

  • SLMcE is a principal or co-investigator on research studies sponsored by Abbott Laboratories, the American Diabetes Ass., AstraZeneca, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Esai, Eli Lilly & Co., Forrest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutica, NIMH, Ortho-McNeil, Pfizer, Sanofi-Synthelabo, Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the Stanley Medical Research Institute; is a consultant to, or member of the scientific advisory boards of Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Ortho-McNeil and Wyeth-Ayerst; and is an inventor on US Patent #6,323,236B2, ‘Use of Sulfamate Derivatives for Treating Impulse Control Disorders’, and, along with the patent's assignee, University of Cincinnati, receives payments from Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC which has exclusive rights under the patent. RK serves on the speakers bureau for Bristol-Meyers Squibb. PEK is a principal or co-investigator on research studies sponsored by Abbott Laboratories, the American Diabetes Ass., AstraZeneca, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly & Co., Janssen Pharmaceutica, Memory Pharmaceuticals, Merck, NIMH, NIDA, Pfizer, the Stanley Medical Research Institute and UCB Pharma; and is a consultant to, or member of the scientific advisory boards of Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly & Co., Memory Pharmaceuticals, Neurocrine Biosciences, Pfizer and Shire.

Susan L McElroy, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, PO Box 670559, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0559, USA. Fax: + 1 513 558 2882; e-mail: susan.mcelroy@uc.edu

Abstract

Objectives:  To review the scientific evidence examining the comorbidity among eating disorders and bipolar disorder (BD).

Methods:  We reviewed all published English-language studies addressing the comorbidity of anorexia nervosa, bulimia, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder in patients with BD and studies of comorbidity of BD in patients with eating disorders. In addition, we discuss the pharmacologic treatment implications from reviewed studies of agents used in BD and eating disorders.

Results:  Community and clinical population studies of the lifetime prevalence rates of eating disorders in patients with BD, and of BD in patients with eating disorders, particularly when subthreshold and spectrum manifestations of these disorders are included, indicate high rates of comorbidity among these illnesses.

Conclusions:  Pharmacologic treatment approaches to patients with BD and a co-occurring eating disorder require examination of the possible adverse effects of the treatment of each syndrome on the other and attempts to manage both syndromes with agents that might be beneficial to both.

Ancillary