Local Experts Present New Findings About Eating Disorders

February 22, 2006

Dr. Kreipe

Recent studies indicate that genetics play an important role in the development of eating disorders.  For example, in an international study, individuals with a mother or sister affected by an eating disorder were shown to be 12 times more likely to develop a similar disorder themselves, compared to people who do not have such a family history.  In a separate research conducted in the United States, doctors found a chromosome linked to families with a history of bulimia nervosa.

“People with eating disorders are more likely to have a family member with an eating disorder, anxiety, or depression,” said Richard Kreipe, M.D., director of Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Program at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong.  “There does appear to be a genetic linkage among these problems, but many other factors come into play, such as environmental and nutritional influences.”

“Eating disorders are complex illnesses that are still largely misunderstood and misdiagnosed,” added Mary Tantillo, Ph.D., director of the Unity Eating Disorders Program at Unity Health System.  “That’s why it’s is very important to educate the community about the latest research on eating disorders, the symptoms, and most importantly, the services available in the Rochester area.”

In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 26-March 4, 2006), representatives of the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders (Golisano Children’s Hospital, Unity Health System, DePaul Community Services and St. Joseph’s Villa) will host an educational presentation. “Getting a Handle on Eating Disorders: Being Comfortable in your Own Genes” will be held on Tuesday, February 28, 2006, from 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. at the Park Ridge Hospital Education Center.  The discussion is free and open to the public.

Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong is the region's only children's hospital, providing care for close to 100,000 children through its inpatient and outpatient services. It is in the final stages of a capital campaign that has raised more than $40 million to date, which in part is helping to fund new expansions and programs at the hospital including the recently opened Pediatric Intensive Care and Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Units and a surgical suite currently under construction.

Unity Health System is a 681-bed health care network serving the city of Rochester and western Monroe County.  Services include acute care, psychiatry and behavioral health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, primary care and family medicine, continuing care, housing, laboratory, occupational health, and child care services.

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Heather Hare
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