Combined Family Trio and Case-Control Analysis of the COMT Val158Met Polymorphism in European Patients with Anorexia Nervosa

M. Gabrovsek, M. Brecelj-Anderluh, L. Bellodi, E. Cellini, D. Di Bella, X. Estivill, F. Fernandez-Aranda, B. Freeman, F. Geller, M. Gratacos, R. Haigh, J. Hebebrand, A. Hinney, J. Holliday, X. Hu, A. Karwautz, B. Nacmias, M. Ribases, H. Remschmidt, R. KomelS. Sorbi, M. Tomori, J. Treasure, G. Wagner, J. Zhao, D. A. Collier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high activity Val158 (H) allele of the dopamine-metabolizing enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) was associated with anorexia nervosa (AN) in a recent family trio-based study of patients from Israel. In an attempt to replicate this finding, we performed a combined family trio and case-control study in an European population from seven centers in six different countries (Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Italy [Milan], Italy [Florence], Slovenia, and Spain), together contributing a total of 372 family trios, 684 controls and 266 cases. TDT analyses of high (H) and low (L) alleles in family trios showed that H allele and L allele were each transmitted 101 times (X2 = 0, ns). Allele-wise case-control analysis using separate samples simply combined from the centers was also not significant, with the frequencies of the H allele 50% in cases and same in controls. Stratified analysis of data from all centers gave an odds ratio of 0.98 (Cornfield 95% confidence limits 0.78-1.24). Analysis by genotype was likewise not significant (overall X2 = 0.42). Because we were not able to support the primary hypothesis that Val158Met is a risk factor for AN, we did not perform secondary analysis of minimum body mass index (mBMI), age at onset or illness subtype (restricting or binge purging anorexia). Overall we found no support for the hypothesis that the Val158 allele of COMT gene is associated with AN in our combined European sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-72
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume124 B
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Candidate genes
  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT)
  • Dopamine
  • Eating disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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