Updates on the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder: a population-based survey

Psychiatry Res. 2010 Jun 30;178(1):171-5. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.05.002. Epub 2010 May 8.


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterised by a preoccupation with perceived defects in one's appearance, which leads to significant distress and/or impairment. Although several studies have investigated the prevalence of BDD, many studies have methodological limitations (e.g., small sample sizes and student populations), and studies on the prevalence of BDD in the general population are limited. In the current study, 2510 individuals participated in a representative German nationwide survey. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) criteria for BDD and associated characteristics such as suicidality and the prevalence of plastic surgeries were examined using self-report questionnaires. The prevalence of current BDD was 1.8% (N=45). Further, individuals with BDD, relative to individuals without BDD, reported significantly more often a history of cosmetic surgery (15.6% vs. 3.0%), higher rates of suicidal ideation (31.0% vs. 3.5%) and suicide attempts due to appearance concerns (22.2% vs. 2.1%). The current findings are consistent with previous findings, indicating that self-reported BDD is a common disorder associated with significant morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Community Health Planning
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Young Adult