Disordered eating behaviours and eating disorders in women in Australia with and without polycystic ovary syndrome: A cross-sectional study

Stephanie Pirotta, Mary Barillaro, Leah Brennan, Angela Grassi, Yvonne M. Jeanes, Anju E. Joham, Jayashri Kulkarni, Lynn Monahan Couch, Siew Lim, Lisa Moran

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Psychological co-morbidities common in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may contribute to disordered eating and subsequent weight gain. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence of disordered eating and a range of eating disorders and demographic risk factors associated with these behaviours within an Australian group of women with and without PCOS. Data from 899 women with (n = 501) and without (n = 398) PCOS were analysed as possibly indicative of disordered eating or eating disorders using the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria. Disordered eating (p = 0.012) but not eating disorders (p = 0.076) were more prevalent in women with PCOS compared to controls. Increased body mass index (BMI) [Odds Ratio (OR): 1.03; 95%; Confidence Interval (CI): 1.01, 1.05, p = 0.012] and older age [OR: 1.05; 95%CI: 1.02, 1.08, p = 0.002] but not PCOS diagnosis [OR: 1.43; 95%CI: 0.96, 2.13 p = 0.078] increased the odds of disordered eating. Increased BMI [OR: 1.04; 95%CI: 1.02, 1.06, p < 0.001] and younger age [OR:-0.95; 95%CI: 0.93–0.95, p < 0.001] but not PCOS diagnosis [OR: 1.38; 95%CI: 0.97, 1.95, p = 0.076] increased the odds of an eating disorder. Clinicians are recommended to screen all women with PCOS for possible disordered eating behaviours, with particular attention to women with elevated BMI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1682
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Binge-eating
  • Disordered eating
  • Eating disorder
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

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