Pilot study of the prevalence of binge eating disorder in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients

Authors Jinyu Zhang, Omair Abbasi, Lev Malevanchik, Neena Mohan, Richard Dennicola, Nicholas Tarangelo, Dina Halegoua-De Marzio.


Background Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in the United States. Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common form of eating disorder. NAFLD and BED have similar risk factors, including obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. The aim of our study was to examine prevalence of BED in NAFLD patients.

Methods We administered the Binge Eating Scale (BES), a questionnaire validated to screen for BED, to NAFLD patients at our Fatty Liver Center. Demographics were retrieved retrospectively from our electronic medical record.

Results Of the total 95 NAFLD patients screened, 22 (23.1%) had binge eating tendencies; 6 of the 22 (6.3%) scored 27 or more points, suggestive of severe binge eating. Patient demographics included 59 females and 36 males (14 females and 8 males positive for BED). Liver disease severity and of metabolic syndrome presence were similar in both groups: 45 patients had steatosis, 25 steatohepatitis, and 24 cirrhosis, of which 10 steatosis, 5 steatohepatitis, and 7 cirrhosis patients screened positive for BED. Of the NAFLD patients with BED, 50.0% had insulin resistance, 68.2% hypertension, and 50.0% hyperlipidemia, whereas among non-BED NAFLD patients 58.9% had insulin resistance, 63.0% hypertension, and 67.1% hyperlipidemia.

Conclusions This pilot study suggests that BED may have a higher prevalence among NAFLD patients than in the general population. Based on these preliminary results, further study into the prevalence of BED is recommended. More data is need to identify effects of BED on the progression of NAFLD and role of BED treatment.

Keywords Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, binge eating disorder, metabolic syndrome

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (6): 664-669

Original Articles