Menstrual cycle abnormalities and subclinical eating disorders: A preliminary report

R. E. Kreipe, J. Strauss, C. H. Hodgman, R. M. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Menstrual dysfunction is a common concomitant of anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Initial investigations emphasized the role of weight loss and lean/fat ratio in amenorrhea. Subsequent studies suggest a more complex interaction between eating disorders and menstrual status. However, in past investigations, menstrual abnormalities have been confounded with low weight. We conducted two studies to ascertain the prevalence of menstrual abnormalities in a group of women with subclinical eating pathology versus an age-, education-, and weight-matched group of normal controls. In Study I, 93.4% of the subclinical subjects reported a history of menstrual abnormality as compared to 11.7% of the normal controls. In Study II, 100% of the subclinical subjects, versus 15.0% of the controls, reported an abnormal menstrual history. These data suggest that menstrual dysfunction often occurs in women with abnormal eating attitudes but without weight loss or diagnosable eating pathology. Several hypotheses for this finding are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989


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