The Epidemiology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Five US Communities

Published in: Archives of General Psychiatry, v. 45, no. 12, Dec. 1988, p. 1094-1099

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1987

by Marvin Karno, Jacqueline M. Golding, Susan B. Sorenson, M. Audrey Burnam

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The prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder was measured in five US communities among more than 18,500 persons in residential settings as part of the National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, Md)--sponsored Epidemiologic Catchment Area program. Lifetime prevalence rates ranged from 1.9% to 3.3% across the five Epidemiologic Catchment Area sites for obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnosed without DSM-III exclusions and 1.2% to 2.4% with such exclusions. These rates are about 25 to 60 times greater than had been estimated on the basis of previous studies of clinical populations.

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