Objectives: The goal of this study was to estimate the lifetime prevalence of Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (GTS) in adolescents aged 16 to 17 years.
Design: Population-based epidemiologic study.
Subjects: Eighteen thousand three hundred sixty-four males and 9673 females aged 16 to 17 years screened for induction into the Israel Defense Force.
Results: Of the 28,037 individuals screened, 12 met diagnostic criteria for GTS. The point prevalence in this population was 4.3 +/- 1.2 (mean +/- SE) per 10,000. The 95% confidence interval for this estimate is 1.9 to 6.7 per 10,000. The point prevalence was 4.9 +/- 1.6 per 10,000 for males (95% confidence interval, 1.8 per 10,000) and 3.1 +/- 1.8 per 10,000 for females (95% confidence interval, 0 to 6.6 per 10,000). The rate of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was significantly elevated among the subjects with GTS (41.7%) compared with the population point prevalence of OCD (3.4) in those without GTS. In contrast, the rate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was only 8.3% compared with the population point prevalence of 3.9% in those individuals without GTS.
Conclusions: The prevalence estimates from this population-based study are in agreement with previous results based on surveys of younger children. The sex ratio observed in this study is not as large as reported in previous studies and remains to be explored in other studies of adolescents and adults.