Affective disorder in bulimic anorexics and their families1

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A retrospective study of 43 cases of bulimic anorexia and the patients’ first-degree relatives was done to examine the hypothesis that affective disorder (depression) and bulimic anorexia are related disorders. Twenty-one (48.8%) of the bulimic anorexics were diagnosed as having affective disorder, while 9.3% of the adult female first-degree relatives and 6.8% of the adult male first-degree relatives had affective disorder. This review revealed a high rate of diagnosis of affective disorder among bulimic probands, but not among their family members, whose rates did not differ significantly from those listed for the general population. The reason for the high incidence of affective disorder in bulimic patients is unknown at present, but does suggest that the two disorders are related.



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