Course and severity of substance abuse in women with Comorbid eating disorder

Sheila Specker, Sheila Specker, Joseph Westermeyer, Paul Thuras

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8 Scopus citations


The objective of this study is to ascertain whether the course and severity of Substance Abuse among female patients with comorbid Substance Related Disorder and Eating Disorder (SRD‐ED) is similar to or different from the course and severity of SRD among female patients with Substance Related Disorder but no Eating Disorder (SRD). Subjects were voluntary patients, obtained in two addiction programs located within departments of psychiatry in two state university medical centers, and included 66 women with SRD‐ED and 211 women with SRD. Data were collected on demography, course and severity of SRD, and associated biomedical conditions. SRD‐ED patients were significantly younger and more apt to be single, more highly educated, living with family and friends, employed, and of higher socioeconomic status. SRD‐ED and SRD patients were more similar than different on most indicators of course and severity, although several clinical differences prevailed. These clinical differences were primarily ascribed to age. In most respects, patients with comorbid SRD‐ED manifest course and severity of SRD similar to patients with SRD. Demographic differences between the two groups can mostly be ascribed to the younger mean age of SRD‐ED patients rather than to the comorbid ED. Some biomedical problems are related to the specific consequences of ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
John Neider provided assistance in collecting, coding, and tabulating these data. Greg Carlson and Dr. James Halikas collaborated in the data collection. Sean Nugent guided the statistical analysis. The Laureate Foundation of Tulsa and the Minnesota Medical Foundation of Minneapolis provided partial funding for the project. Dr. Marci Mylan provided valuable critique.


  • Comorbidity
  • Course
  • Eating disorders


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