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Eating disorders in a multi-ethnic inner-city UK sample: prevalence, comorbidity and service use

  • F. SolmiEmail author
  • M. Hotopf
  • S. L. Hatch
  • J. Treasure
  • N. Micali
Original Paper

Abstract

Purpose

No studies have investigated the prevalence of eating disorders (ED) according to DSM-5 criteria and few have explored their comorbidity and service use in the general population in the UK. We aimed to estimate the prevalence, comorbidity, and service use in individuals with ED in a multi-ethnic inner city sample.

Methods

A total of 1698 individuals (age 16/90) were screened for ED in the first phase of the South East London Community Health Study and 145 were followed up with a diagnostic interview. Data was weighed for survey design and Chi Square tests were used to investigate socio-demographic distribution, comorbidity and service use in participants with ED.

Results

The point prevalence of ED was 4.4 % (Binge Eating Disorder (BED) 3.6 %; Bulimia Nervosa (BN) 0.8 %) and 7.4 % when including sub-threshold diagnoses (Purging Disorder (PD) 0.6 %; Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) 2.4 %). No cases of AN were identified. Purging Disorder was the ED with the highest proportion of comorbid disorders. A minority of participants with ED had accessed specialist care services.

Conclusions

ED are common, the comorbidity of ED was in line with previous studies and no ethnic differences were identified. Although PD is not a full diagnosis in DSM-5, we found some evidence of high comorbidity with other disorders, that needs to be replicated using larger samples. Service use was low across ED diagnoses, despite high levels of comorbidity.

Keywords

Eating disorders Comorbidity Prevalence Health services SELCoHII 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to all SELCoH participants. The authors would also like to thank the SELCoH data manager, Mr. David Pernet, for his invaluable help throughout the project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors do not report any conflicts of interest.

Financial support

SLH and MH receive salary support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.

This research was supported by the Biomedical Research Nucleus data management and informatics facility at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London and a joint infrastructure grant from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and the Maudsley Charity. This research was also funded by a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) clinician scientist award to Dr N Micali and by a grant received by the British Academy. These funders had no involvement in study design, data collection, analysis or the decision to submit for publication. The authors have no financial involvement (including employment, fees, share ownership) or affiliation with any organisation whose financial interests may be affected by material in the manuscript, or which might potentially bias it. This publication is the work of the authors and Nadia Micali will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper.

Supplementary material

127_2015_1146_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Solmi
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • M. Hotopf
    • 2
  • S. L. Hatch
    • 2
  • J. Treasure
    • 3
  • N. Micali
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Behavioural and Brain Science Unit, Institute of Child HealthUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Psychological Medicine, Institute of PsychiatryKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Eating Disorders Department, Institute of PsychiatryKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Division of PsychiatryUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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