Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Psychiatric comorbidity in patients with eating disorders1

D. L. Brauna1 c1, S. R. Sundaya1 and K. A. Halmia1

a1 New York Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center, Westchester Division, NY, USA


The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID and SCID II) was administered to 105 eating disorder in-patients in order to examine rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders and the chronological sequence in which these disorders developed. Eighty-six patients, 81·9% of the sample, had Axis I diagnoses in addition to their eating disorder. Depression, anxiety and substance dependence were the most common comorbid diagnoses. Anorexic restrictors were significantly more likely than bulimics (all subtypes) to develop their eating disorder before other Axis I comorbid conditions.

Personality disorders were common among the subjects; 69% met criteria for at least one personality disorder diagnosis. Of the 72 patients with personality disorders, 93% also had Axis I comorbidity. Patients with at least one personality disorder were significantly more likely to have an affective disorder or substance dependence than those with no personality disorder.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Devra L. Braun, Department of Psychiatry. New York Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center, 21 Bloomingdale Road, White Plains, NY 10605 USA


1 Part of this paper was presented by Dr Braun at the International Conference on Eating Disorders, in New York, NY, USA on 24–26 April 1992.