HealthDay News — According to a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, individuals with binge-eating disorder (BED) have significantly greater economic burden compared to those without BED.

You-Li Ling, PhD, from the University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues quantified the economic burden of BED among respondents of the US National Health and Wellness Survey 2013 who were invited to participate in a follow-up internet survey. A total of 1720 individuals were included in the analysis: 344 with BED and 1376 without BED.

The researchers found that the levels of activity impairment were higher for BED respondents than non-BED respondents (41.3 versus 23.2%; P<.001). The 178 employed BED respondents had a greater level of work impairment than the 686 employed non-BED respondents (36.8 versus 14.4; P=.009). 

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BED respondents had higher health care resource utilization than matched non-BED respondents, with more surgeries (0.2 versus 0.1; P=.021), emergency room visits (0.3 versus 0.2; P=.016), and physician visits (6.1 versus 4.6; P=.002). 

Compared with matched non-BED respondents, BED respondents reported higher total direct costs ($20,194 versus $14,465; P=.005). Indirect costs were higher among employed BED respondents than those without BED ($19,327 versus $9032; P<.001).

“Individuals with BED reported significantly greater economic burden with respect to work productivity loss, level of health care resource utilization and costs compared to non-BED respondents,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Shire Development, which funded the study.


Ling YL, Rascati KL and Pawaskar M. “Direct And Indirect Costs Among Patients With Binge-Eating Disorder In The United States”. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2016. doi: 10.1002/eat.22631. [Epub ahead of print]

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