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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1998 June;38(2):142-8
Alcohol use and behaviors in women long-distance race participants reporting a history of bulimia and/or anorexia nervosa
Gutgesell M. E. 1, Timmerman M. G. 2
1 Department of Pediatrics, Human Services (Exercise Physiology) and Institute for Substance Abuse Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA;
2 Dean Medical Center, Madison, WI
Objective. To describe the relationship between a reported history of an eating disorder, a history of problem alcohol behavior and current alcohol consumption in women long-distance runners.
Setting. General community.
Participants. Women participating in a 20-mile road race (n=398) and age-matched non-exercising women enrolled in a family practice health maintenance organization (n=121) (mean age, 37.1±9.4 years).
Intervention. Not applicable.
Measures. Responses to questions relating to 1) a past history of an eating disorder; 2) weight; 3) running and exercise habits; 4) drinking behaviors using alcoholism screening tests; 5) quantity-frequency data of the previous two week alcohol consumption.
Results. Ten percent of racers and 4.1% of controls reported a history of an eating disorder. Those racers reporting a history of bulimia nervosa without anorexia were more likely to report feeling guilty about their drinking, drunk-driving arrests, an elevated score on an alcoholism screening test (suggestive of problem drinking), alcoholism, and seeking help for problem drinking than other racers or the control population without a history of an eating disorder. However, bulimic racers did not report either increased current alcohol consumption or occasions of drinking, including binge drinking (five or more drinks in one episode).
Conclusions. Women racers reporting a history of bulimia nervosa are more likely to report a history of problem behaviors with alcohol but no differences in current alcohol consumption from that reported by other women racers or women without a history of an eating disorder from the control population.