Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 257–270 | Cite as

An Exploratory Study of Clinical Measures Associated with Subsyndromal Pathological Gambling in Patients with Binge Eating Disorder

  • Sarah W. Yip
  • Marney A. White
  • Carlos M. Grilo
  • Marc N. Potenza
Original Paper


Both binge eating disorder (BED) and pathological gambling (PG) are characterized by impairments in impulse control. Subsyndromal levels of PG have been associated with measures of adverse health. The nature and significance of PG features in individuals with BED is unknown. Ninety-four patients with BED (28 men and 66 women) were classified by gambling group based on inclusionary criteria for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) PG and compared on a range of behavioral, psychological and eating disorder (ED) psychopathology variables. One individual (1.1% of the sample) met criteria for PG, although 18.7% of patients with BED displayed one or more DSM-IV criteria for PG, hereafter referred to as problem gambling features. Men were more likely than women to have problem gambling features. BED patients with problem gambling features were distinguished by lower self-esteem and greater substance problem use. After controlling for gender, findings of reduced self-esteem and increased substance problem use among patients with problem gambling features remained significant. In patients with BED, problem gambling features are associated with a number of heightened clinical problems.


Binge eating Gambling Substance abuse Obesity Gender differences 



This work was supported in part by the NIH (R01 DA019039, RL1 AA017539, K24 DK070052, K23 DK071646, R01 DK49587), UL1-DE19586 and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research/Common Fund, the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Women’s Health Research at Yale, the VA VISN1 MIRECC, and a Center of Research Excellence Award from the Institute for Research on Gambling Disorders.

Conflict of interest statement

Dr. Potenza has received consulting fees or honoraria from Boehringer Ingelheim, has consulted for and has financial interests in Somaxon, has received research support from Mohegan Sun Casino and Forest Laboratories pharmaceuticals, and has consulted for law offices and the federal public defender’s office in issues related to impulse control disorders. The other authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah W. Yip
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Marney A. White
    • 3
  • Carlos M. Grilo
    • 3
    • 4
  • Marc N. Potenza
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Substance Abuse, Department of PsychiatryYale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health CenterNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Child Study CenterYale University, School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryWarneford HospitalOxfordUK

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