September 1993

An Epidemiologic Study of Gilles de la Tourette's Syndrome in Israel

Author Affiliations

From the Geha Psychiatric Hospital, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Petah Tikva, Israel (Drs Apter, Ratzoni, Weizman, and Gadot); the Department of Psychiatry, Sakler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel (Drs Apter, Bleich, and Ratzoni); Israel Defense Force (Drs Apter, Bleich, Kron, and Ratzoni and Ms Dycian); the Child Study Center (Drs Pauls, Zohar, and Cohen) and the Department of Genetics (Dr Pauls), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn; the Department of Psychology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel (Dr Zohar); and the Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY (Dr Kotler).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(9):734-738. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820210068008

Objectives:  The goal of this study was to estimate the lifetime prevalence of Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (GTS) in adolescents aged 16 to 17 years.

Design:  Population-based epidemiologic study.

Subjects:  Eighteen thousand three hundred sixty-four males and 9673 females aged 16 to 17 years screened for induction into the Israel Defense Force.

Results:  Of the 28 037 individuals screened, 12 met diagnostic criteria for GTS. The point prevalence in this population was 4.3±1.2 (mean±SE) per 10 000. The 95% confidence interval for this estimate is 1.9 to 6.7 per 10 000. The point prevalence was 4.9 ±1.6 per 10 000 for males (95% confidence interval, 1.8 per 10 000) and 3.1 ±1.8 per 10 000 for females (95% confidence interval, 0 to 6.6 per 10 000). The rate of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was significantly elevated among the subjects with GTS (41.7%) compared with the population point prevalence of OCD (3.4) in those without GTS. In contrast, the rate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was only 8.3% compared with the population point prevalence of 3.9% in those individuals without GTS.

Conclusions:  The prevalence estimates from this population-based study are in agreement with previous results based on surveys of younger children. The sex ratio observed in this study is not as large as reported in Previous studies and remains to be explored in other studies of adolescents and adults.