Genetic risks for eating disorders, alcoholism may be connected - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Genetic risks for eating disorders, alcoholism may be connected

Updated: Aug 21, 2013 10:05 AM
© Hemera / Thinkstock © Hemera / Thinkstock
  • Melissa's HealthworksMore>>

  • How to reduce those food allergies

    How to reduce those food allergies

    Monday, July 14 2014 4:28 PM EDT2014-07-14 20:28:55 GMT
    Ask the DoctorAsk the Doctor
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
  • A surprising health boost

    A surprising health boost

    Monday, July 14 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-14 18:56:08 GMT
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
  • Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Monday, July 7 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-07 19:00:50 GMT
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Alcoholism and certain types of eating disorders share common genetic risk factors, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at nearly 6,000 adult fraternal and identical twins in Australia. Of those, nearly 25 percent of men and 6 percent of women were alcoholics, nearly 11 percent of men and 13 percent of women reported binge eating, and about 14 percent of women reported purging tactics such as self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse.

Genes appeared to account for 38 percent to 53 percent of the risk of developing these conditions, and some of the same genetic risk factors that make people susceptible to alcoholism also make them vulnerable to binge eating or purging, according to the study in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The findings support "the idea that there are common genetic factors contributing to alcohol dependence and these eating disorder symptoms," lead researcher Melissa Munn-Chernoff, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a journal news release.

Learning more about genetic and other risk factors may lead to better treatments for these disorders, she noted.

Previous studies found that women who binge eat or purge have higher-than-average rates of alcohol use disorders, but it wasn't clear if the disorders had genetic risk factors in common. While this new study indicates that this is the case, it's not clear exactly which genes are involved.

"We need to be aware that these problems can occur together, in both men and women," Munn-Chernoff said.

She suggested that when doctors see patients with a drinking problem, they may want to ask about binge eating and purging symptoms, or vice versa. Currently, that is something that is not routinely done.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about eating disorders.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices