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Br J Psychiatry. 1996 Jul;169(1):101-7.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Familial-developmental history, symptomatology, comorbidity and course with special reference to gender-related differences.

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1
Istituto di Psichiatria, Università di Pisa, Italia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Demographic data, family history, psychopathological features, comorbidity and course of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are investigated and data generated to support the possible existence of two subgroups with gender-related differences of a broader nature.

METHOD:

Two hundred and sixty-three OCD patients, consecutive admissions to the Institute of Psychiatry, University of Pisa over a period of 5 years, not excluding those with comorbid Axis I and Axis II conditions, were studied. Patients were evaluated with a specifically designed semi-structured OCD interview.

RESULTS:

We found a significantly greater history of perinatal trauma in men who also had an earlier onset, greater likelihood of never having been married and a higher frequency of such symptoms as sexual, exactness and symmetry obsessions and odd rituals; by contrast, women suffered a later onset of the disorder, were more likely to be married, had higher rates of associated panic attacks after the onset of OCD and a higher frequency of aggressive obsessions at the onset of their illness, and were less frequently associated with bipolar disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pathophysiological mechanisms in OCD seem to differ by gender. Perinatal trauma might predispose to earlier onset in men, whereas in women there is a close association between OCD and panic disorder.

PMID:
8818377
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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