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A preliminary population-based twin study of self-reported eating disorder

  • L. S. KORTEGAARD (a1), K. HOERDER (a1), J. JOERGENSEN (a1), C. GILLBERG (a1) and K. O. KYVIK (a1)...
    • Published online: 09 April 2001

Background. Twin studies have concluded that there is a substantial genetic contribution to the aetiology of eating disorders. The aim of the present study was to estimate the genetic contribution to the aetiology of self-reported eating disorders in a sample of representative twins.

Method. A population cohort of 34142 young Danish twins was screened for eating disorders by a mailed questionnaire.

Results. Concordance rates differed significantly across monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs for broadly defined self-reported anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Heritability estimates of 0·48, 0·52 and 0·61 respectively were estimated for narrow and broad definitions of self-reported anorexia nervosa and for self-reported bulimia nervosa.

Conclusions. There is a genetic contribution to the aetiology of self-reported eating disorders in the general population. The relationship between self-reported and clinical eating disorder remains to be examined.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Lisbeth S. Kortegaard, Department of Child Psychiatry, Odense University Hospital, Sdr. Boulevard 29, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark.
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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
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