Alcoholism in the families of bulimic anorexics1
Gregory B. Collins, M.D.
Margaret Kotz, D.O.
Joseph W. Janesz, M.Ed.
To examine the hypothesis that alcoholism and bulimic anorexia are related disorders, a retrospective review of the family history of alcoholism in cases of anorexia nervosa with bulimia was done. Of the probands' 148 first-degree relatives 18 years of age or older, 18 (12.2%) were alcoholic—a figure 2½ times the rate of alcoholism for the general population. This study supports the hypothesis that alcoholism and bulimic anorexia are related disorders, but the nature of the relationship remains unclear. Future studies are suggested to explore possible biological linkage between bulimic anorexia and alcoholism.