Military-Related Trauma Associated With Eating Disorders

HealthDay News — Noncombat, military-related trauma is associated with eating disorder symptom severity in male veterans, according to a study published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Kimberly A. Arditte Hall, PhD, from the VA Boston Healthcare System, and colleagues surveyed 642 male veterans to examine the associations between specific types of trauma (i.e., childhood physical abuse, adult physical assault, childhood sexual abuse, adult sexual assault, and military-related trauma) and eating disorder symptoms.

The researchers found that multiple traumatization was associated with increased eating disorder symptoms. However, when they controlled for other trauma types, military-related trauma was the only trauma type that was uniquely associated with eating disorder symptoms. 

Examination of different types of military-related trauma indicated that the association was not driven by exposure to combat.

“Results highlight the need for better assessment of eating disorder symptoms in this population,” conclude the authors.

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Arditte Hall KA, Bartlett BA, Iverson KM, Mitchell KS. Military-related trauma is associated with eating disorder symptoms in male veterans [published online September 23, 2017]. Int J Eat Disord. doi:10.1002/eat.22782