Lifetime substance abuse, family history of alcohol abuse/dependence and novelty seeking in eating disorders: Comparison study of eating disorder subgroups

Authors

  • Isabel Krug phd,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Bellvitge and Ciber Fisiopatologia Obesidad y Nutricion (CIBERobn), Instituto Salud Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Andrea Poyastro Pinheiro phd,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cynthia Bulik phd,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Susana Jiménez-Murcia phd,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Bellvitge and Ciber Fisiopatologia Obesidad y Nutricion (CIBERobn), Instituto Salud Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Roser Granero phd,

    1. Laboratori d'Estadística Aplicada, Departament de Psicobiologia i Metodologia de les Ciències de la Salut. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Eva Penelo phd,

    1. Laboratori d'Estadística Aplicada, Departament de Psicobiologia i Metodologia de les Ciències de la Salut. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cristina Masuet phd,

    1. Department of Preventive Medicine, University Hospital of Bellvitge, Barcelona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Zaida Agüera msc,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Bellvitge and Ciber Fisiopatologia Obesidad y Nutricion (CIBERobn), Instituto Salud Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Fernando Fernández-Aranda phd

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Bellvitge and Ciber Fisiopatologia Obesidad y Nutricion (CIBERobn), Instituto Salud Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain,
    Search for more papers by this author

*Fernando Fernández-Aranda, PhD, FAED, Department of Psychiatry and CIBERobn, University Hospital of Bellvitge, c/Feixa Llarga s/n, 08907-Barcelona, Spain. Email: ffernandez@bellvitgehospital.cat

Abstract

Aim:  To assess lifetime substance abuse, family history of alcohol abuse/dependence, and novelty seeking in three different eating disorder groups (anorexia nervosa–restrictive; anorexia nervosa–binge eating/purging; anorexia nervosa to bulimia nervosa).

Method:  A total sample of 371 eating disorder patients participated in the current study. Assessment measures included the prevalence of substance abuse and family history of alcohol abuse/dependence as well as the novelty-seeking subscale of the Temperament and Character Inventory–Revised.

Results:  Significant differences across groups were detected for lifetime substance abuse, with anorexia nervosa–restrictive individuals exhibiting a significant lower prevalence than the anorexia nervosa to bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa–binge eating/ purging patients (P < 0.01). For family history of alcohol abuse/dependence the same pattern was observed (P = 0.04). Novelty seeking was associated with substance abuse (P = 0.002), with the anorexia nervosa to bulimia nervosa group exhibiting significantly higher scores on the novelty-seeking scale than the other two groups (P < 0.001). But family history of alcohol abuse/dependence was not related to novelty seeking (P = 0.092).

Conclusion:  Lifetime substance abuse appears to be more prevalent in anorexia nervosa patients with bulimic features. Higher novelty-seeking scores may be associated with diagnosis cross-over.

Ancillary