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Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 2340-2733Print version ISSN 0211-5735


MUNOZ ALGAR, María José; BERNAL GARCIA, Patricia  and  POYO CALVO, Félix. Detection of eating behavior disorders in an alcoholism unit. Rev. Asoc. Esp. Neuropsiq. [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.128, pp.817-828. ISSN 2340-2733.

Introduction: The coexistence of eating behaviour disorders and substance abuse has been in the focus of clinical research for several decades with large and contradictory literature results. The aim of this study is to detect eating behaviour disorders in a sample of alcoholic patients. Material and methods: Prospective study of 340 patients admitted in an alcohol dishabituation unit (A.D.U.) from Dr Rodríguez Lafora Hospital during a period of 18 months. In cases diagnosed with an eating disorder, 30 women (25% of the women sample) and no men, we analyzed the demographic, psychosocial and psychopathological characteristics. Furthermore, we studied the eating disorder and we realized several specific psychometric tests. Results: We found a high psychiatric comorbidity in three quarters of the sample (anxious and depressive pathology), high rates of alcohol abuse in the family; and high rates of drug misuse. On the other hand, over half of the sample recognized to use alcohol as an anorectic substance, suggesting that alcohol had a function within eating disorders. Conclusions: Since we have found a significant number of patients that initially were suffering from eating disorders and they developed alcoholism in the course of the disease, we consider in this kind of patient that is necessary to make a systematic assessment of alcohol and other substances. Early detection of this comorbidity is useful for achieve a more specific approach and therapeutic intervention.

Keywords : Alcoholism,; eating behaviour; detection; comorbidity; anorexigenic.

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