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Compr Psychiatry. 2003 Jul-Aug;44(4):270-6.

Axis I comorbidity in body dysmorphic disorder.

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Butler Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI 02906, USA.


Although research on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) has increased in recent years, this disorder's comorbidity has received little empirical attention. Further work in this area is needed, as it appears that most patients with BDD have at least one comorbid disorder. This study examined axis I comorbidity and clinical correlates of comorbidity in 293 patients with DSM-IV BDD, 175 of whom participated in a phenomenology study and 118 of whom participated in treatment studies of BDD. Subjects were evaluated with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID-P) and a semistructured instrument to obtain information on clinical correlates. Comorbidity was common, with a mean of more than two lifetime comorbid axis I disorders in both the phenomenology and treatment groups. In both groups, the most common lifetime comorbid axis I disorders were major depression, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance use disorders. Social phobia usually began before onset of BDD, whereas depression and substance use disorders typically developed after onset of BDD. A greater number of comorbid disorders was associated with greater functional impairment and morbidity in a number of domains. Thus, axis I comorbidity is common in BDD patients and associated with significant functional impairment.

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