OCD: Epidemiology and aetiology
The epidemiology and aetiology of OCD.
- OCD is observed in males and females in approximately equal proportions.
- Prevalence may be as high as 1% to 3% in adults and 1% to 2% in childhood/ adolescence (especially just before the onset of puberty).
- Many adult sufferers report symptoms appearing for the first time in childhood or adolescence.
- Men more frequently present with checking rituals and women are more likely to display compulsive washing.
- The course of OCD is usually chronic but may vary in severity in response to stress.
- Many individuals do not present to healthcare professionals until early in middle age.
- Multifactorial in origin.
- Includes environmental and hereditary factors.
- Brain imaging studies have identified the basal ganglia and orbitofrontal cortex to be involved in the development of OCD.