Is anorexia hereditary

Anorexia can be caused by a congenital predisposition

Anorexia not only has psychological causes, it can also be innate. An international research group with the participation of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) was able to identify a gene that promotes the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. The university announced.

The scientists examined data from almost 3,500 patients with anorexia. They discovered the relevant gene on chromosome 12. This region has therefore already been linked to type 1 diabetes and autoimmune diseases. According to the researchers, anorexia could be linked to other diseases, such as schizophrenia. The genes that make us susceptible therefore overlap.

Genetic cause can relieve anorexics

These discoveries could "permanently change" the previous understanding of anorexia, explained Anke Hinney from the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy of Children and Adolescents at the UDE. "A psychiatric disorder with a physiological background opens up completely new and previously unexpected treatment options." In addition, the genetic cause can relieve the burden on those affected. The research results were published in the journal "The American Journal of Psychiatry".

Anorexia is one of the eating disorders. Several conditions and factors come together as the cause, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, perfectionism, excessive concern about figure and weight as well as drastic experiences such as separation situations or a change of school. A genetic predisposition has also been discussed for a long time. Anorexia most commonly occurs during puberty.