People with binge eating disorder face higher risk of suicide
Binge eating disorder (BED) has been tied to numerous serious health issues, including heart disease, depression, and diabetes. Now, a study shows it may also increase a person’s risk for suicide.
Other eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, have been previously linked to increased suicide risk, but the issue remains largely unstudied among those with BED.
The new research, published in the journal BMC Psychiatry, suggests binge eating disorder similarly increases the risk of attempting suicide, with those at higher weights being at particularly high risk.
For the study, researchers examined data collected from 14,497 people in a sample of Americans as part of the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiologic Surveys. They found that of over a third of those with BED had thought about suicide, nearly 20% had attempted suicide in their lifetime, and 10.1% had experienced suicidality within the past year.
Notably, the results were relatively consistent among both those who were clinically diagnosable with binge eating disorder and those who had experienced binge eating without the accompanying disorder.
The researchers say binge eating and BED were significantly correlated with increased lifetime suicidality which could not be explained away entirely by BMI. However, higher BMI did increase the risk of suicidality. They also observed that women with BED were more likely to experience suicidality.
The findings of the study are not particularly surprising, but they provide strong evidence for increased screening for depression or suicidality among those with BED.
If you or someone you know is living with binge eating disorder, depression, or suicidal thoughts, please call Brookhaven for help at 888-298-HOPE (4673). We can answer any questions you have and find the right treatment plan for you.