December 1988

The Epidemiology of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Five US Communities

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences (Dr Karno) and School of Public Health (Drs Golding and Sorenson), UCLA; and Rand Corp, Santa Monica, Calif (Dr Burnam).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(12):1094-1099. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800360042006

• The prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder was measured in five US communities among more than 18500 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.