Magazine article USA TODAY

Anorexia, Bulimia Prove Gene Related

Magazine article USA TODAY

Anorexia, Bulimia Prove Gene Related

Article excerpt

Six core traits that appear to be linked to genes associated with two common eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia nervosa, have been identified by an international team of researchers led by investigators at the University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) School of Medicine. Approximately 10,000,000 females and 1,000,000 males nationwide are affected by either anorexia or bulimia. The findings bring researchers closer to identifying specific genes and also may have implications for genetic studies of other complex genetic disorders.

These six core traits are: "obsessionality" (a form of perfectionism); age at menarche (menstruation); anxiety; lifetime minimum body mass index (BMI), a measure of body size based on height and weight; concern over mistakes; and food-related obsessions.

The studies found that minimum BMI, concern over mistakes, age at menarche, and food-related obsessions appear to be more closely linked to bulimia, whereas obsessionality and anxiety seem to be more connected to anorexia, suggesting that, although related, the two conditions have some underlying differences. …

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