Epidemiology

Although hypochondriasis is believed to have its onset during adolescence, the onset of symptoms is more common in early to middle adulthood, with men and women equally affected. Therefore, few data are available regarding the incidence or prevalence of hypochondriasis in childhood. This may be due in part to the fact that children express their concerns via their parents, who are likely to be the main reporters of symptoms to medical providers. Adult prevalence rates of 4%-6% have been reported in a general clinic population (Kaplan et al. 1994).

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