Medical comorbidity of binge eating disorder

  • Pablo Olguin
  • Manuel Fuentes
  • Guillermo Gabler
  • Anna I. GuerdjikovaEmail author
  • Paul E. KeckJr.
  • Susan L. McElroy



To gain further understanding of the general medical comorbidity of binge eating disorder (BED) beyond its association with obesity.


We reviewed studies of general medical comorbidity in people with BED or clinically significant binge eating behavior beyond obesity. We also reviewed studies of BED in specific medical conditions.


Three broad study categories of medical comorbidity in BED were found: cross-sectional studies of medical conditions in BED; prospective studies of medical conditions in BED; and studies of BED in specific medical conditions. Cross-sectional epidemiologic data suggest that BED is associated with medical conditions related to obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemias, sleep problems/disorders, and pain conditions, and that BED may be related to these conditions independent of obesity and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Prospective data suggest that BED may be associated with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. BED or binge eating behavior is also associated with asthma and gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders, and among women, menstrual dysfunction, pregnancy complications, intracranial hypertension, and polycystic ovary syndrome.


BED is associated with substantial medical comorbidity beyond obesity. Further study of the general medical comorbidity of BED and its relationship to obesity and co-occurring psychiatric disorders is greatly needed.


Binge eating Medical comorbidity Obesity Diabetes Metabolic syndrome 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study received no funding.

Conflict of interest

Drs. Olguin, Fuentes and Gabler have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Dr. McElroy is a consultant to or member of the scientific advisory boards of Bracket, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., MedAvante, Myriad, Naurex, Novo Nordisk, Shire, and Sunovion. She is a principal or co-investigator on studies sponsored by the Alkermes, Forest, Marriott Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, Naurex, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., Shire, Sunovion, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. She is also an inventor on United States Patent No. 6,323,236 B2, Use of Sulfamate Derivatives for Treating Impulse Control Disorders, and along with the patent’s assignee, the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, has received payments from Johnson & Johnson, which has exclusive rights under the patent. Dr. Keck is employed by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the University of Cincinnati Physicians. Dr. Keck is presently or has been in the past year a principal or co-investigator on research studies sponsored by: Cephalon, Marriott Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Shire. Dr. Keck has been reimbursed for consulting to: 2014: Shire, Supernus, Otsuka, ProPhase, Merck. Dr. Paul E. Keck, Jr. is a co-inventor on United States Patent No. 6,387,956: Shapira NA, Goldsmith TD, Keck, PE Jr. (University of Cincinnati) Methods of treating obsessive–compulsive spectrum disorder comprises the step of administering an effective amount of tramadol to an individual. Filed March 25, 1999; approved May 14, 2002. Dr. Keck has received no financial gain from this patent. Dr. Guerdjikova is employed by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is a consultant for Bracket.

This is a review article. No animals were involved.

This is a review article. To the best of our knowledge, all procedures performed in studies described in the review, involving human participants, were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Olguin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Manuel Fuentes
    • 1
  • Guillermo Gabler
    • 1
  • Anna I. Guerdjikova
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Paul E. KeckJr.
    • 3
    • 4
  • Susan L. McElroy
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryClinica Alemana Universidad del DesarrolloSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Mental Health Unit, Department of SurgeryHospital Clinico Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Lindner Center of HOPEMasonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral NeuroscienceUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA

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