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How Prevalent is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Posted Oct 02 2008 6:16pm

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder involving excessive preoccupation with imagined or minor bodily imperfections. It has been linked to OCD-spectrum disorders and can manifest itself in s range of ways including anorexia nervosa, substance abuse and suicide. Estimates of actual prevalence vary widely. The April 2008 issue of CNS Spectrums presented the results of a national survey to estimate the prevalence of BDD in the United States. Using a random sample national household telephone survey conducted in 2004, 2,513 adults were contacted, of whom 2,048 qualified for administration of computer-assisted, structured interviews, addressed DSM-IV criteria for BDD. Information on psychological, financial and demographic factors was also collected. Respondents included a higher percentage of women and people >55 years of age than in the US adult population, and a lower percentage of Hispanics. Results showed an estimated prevalence of DSM-IV BDD among respondents as 2.4% (49/2,048) (by gender: 2.5% for women, 2.2% for men), exceeding the prevalence of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder type I and about that of generalized anxiety disorder. BDD prevalence decreased after 44 years of age, and a larger proportion of BDD respondents were never married. Of those meeting DSM-IV criteria for BDD, 90% (45/49) met the DSM-IV distress criterion, and 51% (25/49) met the interference-with-functioning criterion. The researchers concluded that further research is needed to evaluate these results and to determine more effective treatment approaches.

Click here for the abstract.

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