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A Register-Based Case-Control Study of Prescription Medication Utilization in Binge-Eating Disorder

Hunna J. Watson, PhD; Andreas Jangmo, MSc; Melissa A. Munn-Chernoff, PhD; Laura M. Thornton, PhD; Elisabeth Welch, PhD; Camilla Wiklund, MSc; Yvonne von Hausswolff-Juhlin, MD, PhD; Claes Norring, PhD; Barry K. Herman, MD, MMM; Henrik Larsson, PhD; and Cynthia M. Bulik, PhD

Published: July 7, 2016

Article Abstract

Objective: Individuals with binge-eating disorder (BED) experience psychiatric and somatic comorbidities and obesity, but the nature and magnitude of prescription medication utilization is unclear. We investigated utilization using Swedish registry data and a case-control design.

Methods: Cases were identified from Riksät and Stepwise longitudinal registers and were individuals diagnosed with BED per DSM-IV-TR criteria between July 1, 2006, and December 31, 2009, at eating disorder clinics (n = 238, 96% female, mean age = 22.8 years). For each case, 10 controls were matched on sex and year, month, and county of birth (n = 2,380). An index date was derived for each control, which was the date of diagnosis of BED in the corresponding case. The association between BED and prescription medication utilization was investigated before and within 12 months after diagnosis.

Results: Before diagnosis, cases were significantly more likely than matched controls to have been prescribed nervous system (odds ratio = 6.4; 95% confidence limit = 4.7, 8.6), tumors and immune disorders (3.5; 1.3, 9.3), cardiovascular (2.2; 1.4, 3.5), digestion and metabolism (2.1; 1.5, 2.9), infectious diseases (1.9; 1.4, 2.6), skin (1.8; 1.3, 2.5), and respiratory system (1.3; 1.0, 1.8) medications. Cases also had higher odds of prescription use than controls across most categories within 12 months after diagnosis. Several associations were significant after accounting for lifetime psychiatric comorbidity and obesity.

Conclusions: Individuals with BED had increased utilization of psychiatric and nonpsychiatric medications compared with matched controls. Findings confirm that the illness burden of BED extends to high medication utilization and underscore the importance of thorough medication reviews when treating individuals with BED.

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