Objective: Eating disorders (EDs) are associated with a high prevalence of childhood maltreatment (CM). We aimed to experimentally assess if people with EDs and history of CM show altered biological, emotional and behavioural responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Methods: According to Childhood Trauma Questionnaire cut-off scores, 29 participants (14 with anorexia nervosa [AN] and 15 with bulimia nervosa [BN]) were classified as maltreated (Mal) ED participants while 19 participants (11 with AN and eight with BN) without CM were identified as no maltreated (noMal) ED participants. Cortisol, anxiety and hunger responses to TSST and post-stress body dissatisfaction were measured. Results: Mal ED people showed heightened emotional reactivity, lower levels of hunger and more severe post-stress body dissatisfaction in comparison with noMal ones. Higher cortisol production was observed in people with AN, regardless of CM history, and in those with BN and emotional CM. Emotional trauma was the main CM type contributing to the experimental differences observed in Mal ED people. Conclusions: This is the first study providing experimental and multi-level support to the maltreated ecophenoptype hypothesis in people with EDs. These findings may promote new insights into the biological bases of EDs and provide novel therapeutic implications.

Emotional traumatic experiences significantly contribute to identify a maltreated ecophenotype sub-group in eating disorders: Experimental evidence

Cascino G.;Monteleone P.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Objective: Eating disorders (EDs) are associated with a high prevalence of childhood maltreatment (CM). We aimed to experimentally assess if people with EDs and history of CM show altered biological, emotional and behavioural responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Methods: According to Childhood Trauma Questionnaire cut-off scores, 29 participants (14 with anorexia nervosa [AN] and 15 with bulimia nervosa [BN]) were classified as maltreated (Mal) ED participants while 19 participants (11 with AN and eight with BN) without CM were identified as no maltreated (noMal) ED participants. Cortisol, anxiety and hunger responses to TSST and post-stress body dissatisfaction were measured. Results: Mal ED people showed heightened emotional reactivity, lower levels of hunger and more severe post-stress body dissatisfaction in comparison with noMal ones. Higher cortisol production was observed in people with AN, regardless of CM history, and in those with BN and emotional CM. Emotional trauma was the main CM type contributing to the experimental differences observed in Mal ED people. Conclusions: This is the first study providing experimental and multi-level support to the maltreated ecophenoptype hypothesis in people with EDs. These findings may promote new insights into the biological bases of EDs and provide novel therapeutic implications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4758605
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