Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Patients With Binge-Eating Disorder in Primary Care Clinics: A Cross-Sectional Study

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Background: The distribution and nature of metabolic syndrome in obese patients with binge-eating disorder (BED) are largely unknown and require investigation, particularly in general internal medicine settings. The objectives of this study were to (1) examine the frequency of metabolic syndrome and (2) explore its eating- and weight-related correlates in obese patients with BED.

Method: This was a cross-sectional analysis of 81 consecutive treatment-seeking obese (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) patients (21 men, 60 women) who met DSM-IV-TR research criteria for BED (either subthreshold criteria: ≥ 1 binge weekly, n = 19 or full criteria: ≥ 2 binges weekly, n = 62). Participants were from 2 primary care facilities in a large university-based medical center in an urban setting. Patients with and without metabolic syndrome were compared on demographic features and current and historical eating- and weight-related variables. Data were collected from December 2007 through March 2009.

Results: Forty-three percent of patients met criteria for metabolic syndrome. A significantly higher proportion of men (66%) than women (35%) met criteria for metabolic syndrome (P = .012). Patients with versus without metabolic syndrome did not differ significantly in ethnicity or body mass index. Patients with versus without metabolic syndrome did not differ significantly in binge-eating frequency, severity of eating disorder psychopathology, or depression. Analyses of covariance controlling for gender revealed that patients without metabolic syndrome started dieting at a significantly younger age (P = .037), spent more of their adult lives dieting (P = .017), and reported more current dietary restriction (P = .018) than patients with metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome is common in obese patients with BED in primary care settings and is associated with fewer dieting behaviors. These findings suggest that certain lifestyle behaviors, such as increased dietary restriction, may be potential targets for intervention with metabolic syndrome.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2011;13(2):e1–e7

Submitted: July 16, 2010; accepted September 1, 2010.

Published online: March 3, 2011 (doi:10.4088/PCC.10m01050).

Corresponding author: Rachel D. Barnes, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine, Program for Obesity, Weight, and Eating Research, PO Box 208098, New Haven, CT 06520-8098 (Rachel.Barnes@yale.edu).

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2011;13(2):e1-e7

https://doi.org/10.4088/PCC.10m01050