Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder are the three main eating disorders that 4 out of 10 individuals living in Western Europe will experience at some point in their lives. In recent years, studies on the genetic basis of anorexia nervosa have highlighted the existence of predisposing genetic markers, which are shared with other psychiatric disorders. By analyzing the genome of tens of thousands of British people, a team from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), King’s College London, the University College London, the University of North Carolina (UNC) and The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have built on these initial results by discovering similarities between the genetic bases of these various eating disorders, and those of other psychiatric disorders. Eating disorders differ in their genetic association with anthropometric traits, like weight, waist circumference or body mass index. Thus, genetic predisposition to certain weight traits may be a distinctive feature of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder. The study is published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
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