Bulimia Nervosa and Substance Dependence: Association and Family Transmission

Authors

  • Walter H. Kaye,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Lisa R. Lilenfeld,

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Katherine Plotnicov,

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Kathleen R. Merikangas,

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Linda Nagy,

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Michael Strober,

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Cynthia M. Bulik,

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Howard Moss,

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • Catherine G. Greeno

    1. Department of Psychiatry (W.H.K., L.R.L., K.P., H.M., C.G.G.), Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Psychiatry (K.R.M., L.N.), Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut; Department of Psychiatry (M.S.), Biobehavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; and the Department of Psychology (C.M.B.), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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  • This study was supported by Grant ROlAA08983–02 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Abstract

Alcohol and drug use disorders are common among women with bulimia newosa (BN) and their family members. However, it is not known whether there is a familial relationship between BN and substance use disorders. We compared 47 women with BN and 44 non-eating-disordered community control women, and their first-degree relatives (177 and 190, respectively). BN probands were stratified by the presence (43%) or absence (57%) of lifetime alcohol and/or drug dependence. The first-degree relatives of substance-dependent BN probands had significantly higher lifetime rates of alcohoWdrug dependence (38%), compared with relatives of nonsubstance-depen-dent BN probands (10%) or relatives of community controls (18%). These data suggest that BN and substance dependence are transmitted independently in families.

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