Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa (AN), have a significant genetic component. In the current study, a genomewide linkage analysis of 192 families with at least one affected relative pair with AN and related eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa, was performed, resulting in only modest evidence for linkage, with the highest nonparametric linkage (NPL) score, 1.80, at marker D4S2367 on chromosome 4. Since the reduction of sample heterogeneity would increase power to detect linkage, we performed linkage analysis in a subset (n = 37) of families in which at least two affected relatives had diagnoses of restricting AN, a clinically defined subtype of AN characterized by severe limitation of food intake without the presence of binge-eating or purging behavior. When we limited the linkage analysis to this clinically more homogeneous subgroup, the highest multipoint NPL score observed was 3.03, at marker D1S3721 on chromosome 1p. The genotyping of additional markers in this region led to a peak multipoint NPL score of 3.45, thereby providing suggestive evidence for the presence of an AN-susceptibility locus on chromosome 1p.
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