Suicidality in adolescents and adults with binge-eating disorder: Results from the national comorbidity survey replication and adolescent supplement

Lauren N. Forrest, Kelly L. Zuromski, Dorian R. Dodd, April R. Smith

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24 Scopus citations


Objective: The relation between binge-eating disorder (BED) and suicidality (i.e., suicide ideation, plan, and/or attempt) has not been studied extensively, and it is unknown whether BED is uniquely associated with suicidality when adjusting for comorbid psychopathology. Moreover, the course of suicidality in BED has not been determined and it is unknown whether BED precedes suicidality or vice versa. Method: A total of 10,123 adolescents and 2,980 adults from two nationally representative surveys were administered diagnostic interviews assessing psychopathology and suicidality, as well the retrospectively reported ages of onset. Results: Among adults and adolescents, BED was associated with elevated odds of suicide ideation, plan, and attempt at a univariate level, but BED was not associated with elevated odds of suicidality when adjusting for comorbid psychopathology. Kaplan–Meier estimates of temporal patterns displayed that most adolescents experienced suicidality onset following BED onset, whereas most adults experienced suicidality onset prior to BED onset. Discussion: BED, comorbid disorders, and suicidality share common factors and interrelations, and individuals with BED and comorbid disorders may be at particularly high risk for suicidal outcomes. The presence of BED in adolescence may serve as a marker for more severe symptomatology that precedes the occurrence of suicidality. Research is needed to understand how eating disorder symptoms, comorbid symptoms, and suicidality affect one another over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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