Physical health comorbidities in women with personality disorder: Data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study

S.E. Quirk, A.L. Stuart, S.L. Brennan-Olsen, J.A. Pasco, M. Berk, A.M. Chanen, H. Koivumaa-Honkanen, M.A. Kotowicz, P.S. Lukkala, L.J. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Associations between common psychiatric disorders, psychotic disorders and physical health comorbidities are frequently investigated. The complex relationship between personality disorders (PDs) and physical health is less understood, and findings to date are varied. This study aims to investigate associations between PDs with a number of prevalent physical health conditions. Methods: This study examined data collected from women (n = 765; ≥ 25 years) participating in a population-based study located in south-eastern Australia. Lifetime history of psychiatric disorders was assessed using the semi-structured clinical interviews (SCID-I/NP and SCID-II). The presence of physical health conditions (lifetime) were identified via a combination of self-report, medical records, medication use and clinical data. Socioeconomic status, and information regarding medication use, lifestyle behaviors, and sociodemographic information was collected via questionnaires. Logistic regression models were used to investigate associations. Results: After adjustment for sociodemographic variables (age, socioeconomic status) and health-related factors (body mass index, physical activity, smoking, psychotropic medication use), PDs were consistently associated with a range of physical health conditions. Novel associations were observed between Cluster A PDs and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD); Cluster B PDs with syncope and seizures, as well as arthritis; and Cluster C PDs with GORD and recurrent headaches. Conclusions: PDs were associated with physical comorbidity. The current data contribute to a growing evidence base demonstrating associations between PDs and a number of physical health conditions independent of psychiatric comorbidity, sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. Longitudinal studies are now required to investigate causal pathways, as are studies determining pathological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Comorbidity
  • Epidemiology
  • Medical morbidity
  • Personality disorder
  • Physical health conditions

Cite this