Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Prevalence of obsessive-compulsive disorder in Iran

Mohammad Reza Mohammadi12*, Ahmad Ghanizadeh1, Mehdi Rahgozar3, Ahmad Ali Noorbala1, Haratoun Davidian1, Hossein Malek Afzali4, Hamid Reza Naghavi1, Seyed Abbas Bagheri Yazdi5, Seyed Mehdi Saberi6, Bita Mesgarpour2, Shahin Akhondzadeh1, Javad Alaghebandrad1 and Mehdi Tehranidoost1

Author Affiliations

1 Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Roozbeh Hospital, South Kargar St., 13185/1741, Tehran, Iran

2 National Research Center of Medical Sciences, No. 26, 1st Al., Kooh-e-Noor St., Motahhari Ave., Tehran, Iran

3 Tarbiat Modarres University, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Youth and School Health Department, Mental Health Unit, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran

6 Medicine Legal Organisation, Tehran, Iran

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Psychiatry 2004, 4:2  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-4-2

Published: 14 February 2004



Estimates of the annual prevalence for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) were consistent across the international sites range, 1.9% – 2.5%. The nine population surveys, which used Diagnostic Interview Schedule, estimated a six-month prevalence of OCD ranging from 0.7% to 2.1%.

This study performed in order to determine the prevalence of OCD in a population-based study among Iranian adults aged 18 and older and to study the association of them with factors such as sex, marital status, education, type of occupation and residential area.


A cross-sectional nationwide epidemiological study of the Iranian population aged 18 and older was designed to estimate the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and their association with the above mentioned factors. 25180 individuals were selected and interviewed through a randomized systematic and cluster sampling method from all Iranian households. Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (SADS) and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria were used in diagnosis of OCD. 250 clinical psychologists interviewed the selected subjects face to face at their homes.


The prevalence of OCD in Iran is 1.8% (0.7% and 2.8% in males and females; respectively). 50.3% of the survey sample were men, 49.9% women, 29.1% single, 67.45% married, 0.4% separated or divorced, 2.5% widow/widower and 4% undetermined. All of the above-mentioned factors were examined in the univariate and multivariate logistic regression models. Although the data did not fit the models well, but in univariate models, sex, the category "single" of marital status, age, the categories "business" and "housewife" and residential areas showed significant effect adjusting for the factors, but the models didn't fit the data properly.


The study suggests that the prevalence of OCD is not rare in the community of Iran and is within the range of other countries. Similar to prior studies in other communities, OCD is more common in females than males.