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Eating Disorders and Social Phobia

Timothy D. Brewerton, MD; R. Bruce Lydiard, PhD, MD; David B. Herzog, MD; James C. Ballenger, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(1):70. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820130076012.
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To the Editor.—  We read with great interest the article by Halmi and colleagues1 in which the lifetime prevalence of psychiatric disorders in a group of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) was presented. Social phobia (SP) was present at some point in 21 (33.9%) of these 62 patients. The authors devoted relatively little discussion to having found such a high prevalence of this disorder in their sample. One possible artifact contributing to this may have been fear of eating in public. Since this is a specific exclusion criteria in the DSM-III-R,2 we presume that this was not the focus of fear for these patients with SP. We found a similar high lifetime prevalence of SP not related to eating in public in a group of patients with bulimia nervosa (BN).3Fifty-nine normal-weight female subjects with BN were recruited for a treatment study and evaluated using the Structured


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