Article open access publication

The anorexia nervosa genetics initiative (ANGI): Overview and methods

Contemporary Clinical Trials, Elsevier, ISSN 1551-7144

Volume 74, 2018

DOI:10.1016/j.cct.2018.09.015, Dimensions: pub.1107350010, PMC: PMC6338222, PMID: 30287268,



  1. (1) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, grid.10698.36
  2. (2) Karolinska Institute, grid.4714.6
  3. (3) QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, grid.1049.c
  4. (4) University of Queensland, grid.1003.2
  5. (5) Aarhus University, grid.7048.b, AU
  6. (6) Curtin University, grid.1032.0
  7. (7) University of Western Australia, grid.1012.2
  8. (8) Lundbeck Foundation, grid.452548.a
  9. (9) Mental Health Services, grid.466916.a, Central Denmark Region
  10. (10) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  11. (11) University of California, San Diego, grid.266100.3
  12. (12) Biorealm Research, 6101 W Centinela Ave # 270, Culver, CA 90230, USA
  13. (13) Oregon Research Institute, grid.280332.8
  14. (14) Cornell University, grid.5386.8
  15. (15) University of California, Los Angeles, grid.19006.3e
  16. (16) University of Toronto, grid.17063.33
  17. (17) Toronto General Hospital, grid.417184.f
  18. (18) Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, grid.419964.7
  19. (19) Eating Recovery Center, 7351 E. Lowry Blvd., Suite 200, Denver, CO 80230, USA
  20. (20) The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt, 6501 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21204, USA
  21. (21) University of Otago, grid.29980.3a
  22. (22) Stanford University, grid.168010.e
  23. (23) University of Würzburg, grid.8379.5
  24. (24) Stockholm Health Care Services, grid.467087.a
  25. (25) Flinders University, grid.1014.4
  26. (26) University of Gothenburg, grid.8761.8


BACKGROUND: Genetic factors contribute to anorexia nervosa (AN); and the first genome-wide significant locus has been identified. We describe methods and procedures for the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI), an international collaboration designed to rapidly recruit 13,000 individuals with AN and ancestrally matched controls. We present sample characteristics and the utility of an online eating disorder diagnostic questionnaire suitable for large-scale genetic and population research. METHODS: ANGI recruited from the United States (US), Australia/New Zealand (ANZ), Sweden (SE), and Denmark (DK). Recruitment was via national registers (SE, DK); treatment centers (US, ANZ, SE, DK); and social and traditional media (US, ANZ, SE). All cases had a lifetime AN diagnosis based on DSM-IV or ICD-10 criteria (excluding amenorrhea). Recruited controls had no lifetime history of disordered eating behaviors. To assess the positive and negative predictive validity of the online eating disorder questionnaire (ED100K-v1), 109 women also completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID), Module H. RESULTS: Blood samples and clinical information were collected from 13,363 individuals with lifetime AN and from controls. Online diagnostic phenotyping was effective and efficient; the validity of the questionnaire was acceptable. CONCLUSIONS: Our multi-pronged recruitment approach was highly effective for rapid recruitment and can be used as a model for efforts by other groups. High online presence of individuals with AN rendered the Internet/social media a remarkably effective recruitment tool in some countries. ANGI has substantially augmented Psychiatric Genomics Consortium AN sample collection. ANGI is a registered clinical trial: clinicaltrials.govNCT01916538;


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2018: Realized

Research area: Medicine

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2018: Level 1

Research area: Medicine

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Times Cited: 14

Relative Citation ratio (RCR): 0.91

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Green, Accepted