Association Between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa: Analysis of 4 Case-Control Studies.
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(3):351-354
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: Impulsivity is a common
feature of attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), and evidence suggests that
impulsivity traits may be an indicator of poor prognosis
for individuals with bulimia nervosa. To identify whether there is an association between
ADHD and bulimia nervosa, the authors
systematically examined data from children and adults with
and without ADHD.
Method: We systematically identified rates
of bulimia nervosa in individuals with and without ADHD (DSM-III-R criteria) in our 2 large
pediatric and 2 large adult samples (N = 522
children, 742 adults). Subjects were assessed from the
late 1980s to February 1999.
Results: In the 2 samples of adults with
and without ADHD, significantly greater rates of
bulimia nervosa were identified in women with versus without ADHD (12% vs. 3%, p < .05 for
1 sample and 11% vs. 1%, p < .05 for the other sample). No significant differences in rates
of bulimia nervosa were identified in men or children with ADHD when compared to
sex-matched control subjects.
Conclusion: Although preliminary and
requiring further confirmation, these findings
suggest that ADHD may be associated with bulimia
nervosa in some women. If confirmed, this association between bulimia nervosa and ADHD
could have important clinical and therapeutic