Binge eating disorder and depressive symptoms among females of child-bearing age: The Korea Nurses' Health Study

O. Kim, M. S. Kim, J. Kim, J. E. Lee, H. Jung

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14 Scopus citations


Background: Most studies regarding the relationship between binge eating disorder (BED) and depression have targeted obese populations. However, nurses, particularly female nurses, are one of the vocations that face these issues due to various reasons including high stress and shift work. This study investigated the prevalence of BED and the correlation between BED and severity of self-reported depressive symptoms among female nurses in South Korea. Methods: Participants were 7,267 female nurses, of which 502 had symptoms of BED. Using the propensity score matching (PSM) technique, 502 nurses with BED and 502 without BED were included in the analyses. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Spearman's correlation, and multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis. Results: The proportion of binge eating disorder was 6.90% among the nurses, and 81.3% of nurses displayed some levels of depressive symptoms. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis revealed that age (40 years old and older), alcohol consumption (frequent drinkers), self-rated health, sleep problems, and stress were associated with self-reported depression symptoms. Overall, after adjusting for confounders, nurses with BED had 1.80 times the risk (95% CI = [1.41-2.30]; p-value < 0.001) of experiencing a greater severity of self-reported depression symptoms. Conclusions: Korean female nurse showed a higher prevalence of both binge eating disorder and depressive symptoms, and the association between the two factors was proven in the study. Therefore, hospital management and health policy makers should be alarmed and agreed on both examining nurses on such problems and providing organized and systematic assistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 17 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Binge eating disorder
  • DSM
  • Depression
  • Korea nurses' health study
  • Nursing
  • Public health
  • South Korea


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