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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 0717-9227


BEHAR A, Rosa; BARAHONA I, Mónica; IGLESIAS M, Bernardita  and  CASANOVA Z, Dunny. Depressive disorder, social anxiety and its prevalence in eating disorders. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2007, vol.45, n.3, pp.211-220. ISSN 0717-9227.

Background: There is substantial evidence about comorbidity between eating disorders, depression and social anxiety. Aim: To compare the presence of social anxiety and depression and its prevalence in eating disordered patients and normal subjects. Subjects and Methods: A structured clinical interview, the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-40), the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) were administered to 54 patients that fulfilled the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for eating disorders and to 54 normal female students. Results: Patients with eating disorders ranked significantly higher on the EAT-40 and on the EDI and its factors, including comorbidity scales (p < 0.001). Prevalence of social anxiety was significantly higher in eating disordered patients (40. 7% versus 3.7%) (p < 0.001), particularly among anorexics (66.6%) (p < 0,001) and 14.8% of the eating disordered patients ranked within the severe range (p < 0.001). Theriskfor moderate to very severe social anxiety was 5.5 times higher among them. Prevalence of depressive symptoms was significantly higher in eating disordered patients (7& 5% versus 0%) (p < 0.001), specially among anorexics (66.6%) (p < 0,001) and 18.5% of the eating disordered patients ranked within the severe or very severe range (p < 0.001). The risk for moderate to very severe depression was 23.7 times higher among them. Conclusions: Depressive and/or social anxiety disorders and their prevalence rates are confirmed according to the evidence in eating disordered patients, mainly among patients suffering from anorexia nervosa.

Keywords : Eating disorders; comorbidity; prevalence; depressive disorder; social anxiety disorder.

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