Genes are involved in eating disorders (EDs) and self-induced vomiting (SV), a key symptom of different types of EDs. Perfectionism and impulsivity are potential risk factors for EDs. TPH2 (tryptophan hydroxylase 2) SNP rs1473473 was previously associated with anorexia nervosa and EDs characterized by SV. Could perfectionism or impulsivity be underlying the association between rs1473473 and EDs? Genetic association between TPH2 SNP rs1473473 and perfectionism or impulsivity was first evaluated in a random control group (N = 512). The associations obtained in this control group were subsequently tested in a group of patients with an ED (N = 267). The minor allele of rs1473473 (OR = 1.49) was more frequent in impulsive controls, but also in impulsive patients with an ED (OR = 1.83). The largest effect was found in the patients with an ED characterized by SV (OR = 2.51, p = 0.02). Genetic variation at the TPH2 gene appeared to affect impulsivity which, in turn, might predispose to the SV phenotype. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.