The relation between eating disorders and menstrual function has been widely studied, but it is unknown whether the behavior of binge eating itself is related to menstrual dysfunction.METHODS:
The 11,503 women included in this study were from the Swedish Twin study of Adults: Genes and Environment. The associations between menstrual dysfunction and binge eating were analyzed using logistic regression or multiple linear regression models with generalized estimation equations.RESULTS:
Women who reported lifetime binge eating were more likely to report either amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea than women who reported no binge eating. These results persisted when controlling for compensatory behaviors including self-induced vomiting, laxative use, and diuretic use. No differences between women with and without a history of binge eating were observed for age at menarche.CONCLUSION:
Even when controlling for the effect of compensatory behaviors, the behavior of binge eating is associated with menstrual dysfunction. Metabolic and endocrinological factors could underlie this association. Careful evaluation of menstrual status is warranted for women with all eating disorders, not just anorexia nervosa.