Compulsive Shopping Linked to Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders

Binge shoppers tend to be younger, earn less than $50,000

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Binge shopping is associated with comorbid psychiatric disorders and warrants further study into treatments and interventions, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Lorrin M. Koran, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues interviewed a random sample of 2,513 adults in a national telephone survey. The respondents answered questions about buying attitudes and behaviors, consequences, and provided demographic information. The Compulsive Buying Scale was used to classify compulsive behavior.

The investigators found that compulsive buyers were younger than other respondents, and that a larger proportion had incomes under $50,000. They had more maladaptive responses on consumer-based behaviors and a more than fourfold greater rate for carrying balances on their credit cards than noncompulsive buyers.

"A study using clinically valid interviews is needed to evaluate these results. The emotional and functional toll of compulsive buying and the frequency of comorbid psychiatric disorders suggests that studies of treatments and social interventions are warranted," the authors conclude.

The study was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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