|If alcoholism runs in the family, you may also be at risk of developing an eating disorder. (Marc Dietrich/Fotolia.com) |
If alcoholism runs in the family, you may also be at risk of developing an eating disorder. The risk of both is partly genetic, and new research suggests they involve the same genes.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis looked at 6,000 pairs of Australian twins and found common genetic factors between people with predispositions towards alcoholism and certain kinds of eating disorders, including binge eating, purging, abusing laxatives and self-induced vomiting.
“By comparing the findings in identical and fraternal twins, we can develop estimates of how much of the difference in particular traits is due to genes or environment,” said lead author Melissa A. Munn-Chernoff in a press release. “We found that some of the genes that influence alcohol dependence also influence binge eating in men and women.”
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