Patterns of menstrual disturbance in eating disorders

Andréa Poyastro Pinheiro, Laura M. Thornton, Katherine H. Plotonicov, Federica Tozzi, Kelly L. Klump, Wade H. Berrettini, Harry Brandt, Steven Crawford, Scott Crow, Manfred M. Fichter, David Goldman, Katherine A. Halmi, Craig Johnson, Allan S. Kaplan, Pamela Keel, Maria Lavia, James Mitchell, Alessandro Rotondo, Michael Strober, Janet TreasureD. Blake Woodside, Ann Von Holle, Robert Hamer, Walter H. Kaye, Cynthia M. Bulik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe menstrual disturbance in eating disorders (ED). Method: We describe menstrual history in 1,705 women and compare eating, weight, and psychopathological traits across menstrual groups. Results: Menstrual dysfunction occurred across all eating disorder subtypes. Individuals with normal menstrual history and primary amenorrhea reported the highest and lowest lifetime body mass index (BMI), respectively. Normal menstruation and oligomenorrhea groups reported greater binge eating, vomiting, and appetite suppressant use. Amenorrhea was associated with lower caloric intake and higher exercise. Harm avoidance, novelty seeking, perfectionism, and obsessionality discriminated among menstrual status groups. No differences in comorbid Axis I and II disorders were observed. Conclusion: Menstrual dysfunction is not limited to any eating disorder subtype. BMI, caloric intake, and exercise were strongly associated with menstrual function. Menstrual status is not associated with comorbidity. Menstrual irregularity is an associated feature of all ED rather than being restricted to AN only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-434
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Binge eating
  • Body mass index
  • Comorbidity
  • Eating disorders
  • Menstrual dysfunction
  • Personality
  • Purging behaviors


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