Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with binge eating (BE), food addiction (FA), and obesity/higher BMI in individuals without alcohol use disorder (AUD). ADHD is highly prevalent in patients with AUD, but it is unknown whether the presence of comorbid AUD might change the nature of the association between ADHD, BE, FA and BMI (food and alcohol may either compete for the same brain neurocircuitry or share vulnerability risk factors). Here, we filled this gap by testing the association between ADHD and FA/BE in adult patients hospitalized for AUD, with the strength of simultaneously assessing childhood and adult ADHD. We also investigated the association between ADHD and BMI, and the other factors associated with BMI (FA/BE, AUD severity).
We included 149 AUD inpatients between November 2018 and April 2019. We assessed both childhood and adulthood ADHD (Wender Utah Render Scale and Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale), FA (modified Yale Food Addiction Scale 2.0), BE (Binge Eating Scale), and BMI and AUD (clinical assessment).
In multivariable analyses adjusted for age, adult ADHD was associated with higher BE scores (p = .048), but not significant BE (9% vs. 7%; p = .70). ADHD was also associated with FA diagnosis and the number or FA symptoms, with larger effect size for adult (ORs: 9.45[95%CI: 2.82-31.74] and 1.38[1.13-1.69], respectively) than childhood ADHD (ORs: 4.45[1.37-14.46] and 1.40[1.13-1.75], respectively). In multivariable analysis, BMI was associated with both significant BE (p < .001) and FA diagnosis (p = .014), but not adult ADHD nor AUD severity.
In patients hospitalized for AUD, self-reported adult ADHD was associated with FA and BE, but not BMI. Our results set the groundwork for longitudinal research on the link between ADHD, FA, BE, and BMI in AUD inpatients.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.