What are the racial, age and gender predilections of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

Updated: May 17, 2018
  • Author: William M Greenberg, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

OCD appears to have a similar prevalence in different races and ethnicities, although specific pathologic preoccupations may vary with culture and religion (eg, concerns about blaspheming are more common in religious Catholics and Orthodox Jews).

The overall prevalence of OCD is equal in males and females, although the disorder more commonly presents in males in childhood or adolescence and tends to present in females in their twenties. Childhood-onset OCD is more common in males. Males are more likely to have a comorbid tic disorder.

It is not uncommon for women to experience the onset of OCD during a pregnancy, although those who already have OCD will not necessarily experience worsening of their symptoms during pregnancy.

Women commonly experience worsening of their OCD symptoms during the premenstrual time of their periods. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should collaborate with their physicians in making decisions about starting or continuing OCD medications.Age preference in OCD

Symptoms of OCD usually begin in individuals aged 10-24 years.


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