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J Anxiety Disord. 1997 Sep-Oct;11(5):499-502.

Prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder in patients with anxiety disorders.

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OCD Clinic and Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown 02129, USA.


Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a debilitating disorder that often goes undetected in clinical practice. To provide information on the diagnostic correlates of BDD, we examined rates among outpatients seeking treatment for anxiety disorders. Participants (N = 165) were evaluated with a structured clinical interview and received the following primary diagnoses: panic disorder (n = 80), obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 40), social phobia (n = 25) and generalized anxiety disorder (n = 20). Overall, 6.7% of patients met criteria for BDD. Rates were highest for social phobia (12%). When comorbid social phobia was excluded, rates of BDD were 1.5% in panic disorder, 6.7% in generalized anxiety disorder, and 7.7% in obsessive-compulsive disorder. In all cases, onset of social phobia preceded onset of BDD. Our findings draw attention to the prevalence of BDD in patients with social phobia. The potential etiologic significance of our findings is discussed.

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