Epidemiology of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A. The lifetime prevalence of OCD is approximately 2.5%. There is no sex difference in prevalence, but the age of onset is earlier in males.

B. OCD usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood, but it may occasionally begin in childhood.

C. The onset is usually gradual and most patients have a chronic disease course with waxing and waning of symptoms in relation to life stressors.

D. Fifteen percent of patients have a chronic debilitating course with marked impairment in social and occupational functioning.

E. Up to 50% of patients with Tourette's disorder have coexisting OCD; however, only 5% of OCD patients have Tourette's disorder.

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