Wiley, European Eating Disorders Review, 6(22), p. 423-429
The stress response is regulated by the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). When the balance between GR and MR signalling is disturbed, one's capacity to cope with a stressful event is diminished. In this pilot study, we tested the hypothesis that an interaction between common variants in the MR (rs5522) or GR gene (rs41423247) and stressful life events influences perfectionism levels in a group of patients with an eating disorder (ED; n = 113). Patients carrying the minor G allele of rs5522 had a higher perfectionism score if more stressful life events were experienced [β = 0.95, t(109) = 3.75, p < 0.01]. This effect was not found for patients carrying the AA genotype. These results suggest that rs5522 G allele carriers might be vulnerable to stressful life events. When patients with an ED are carriers and experience multiple life events, this might fuel their insecurity, which in turn may engender higher levels of perfectionism. Further studies are necessary to replicate and expand our findings. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.