Children at Risk
Although there have been no formal studies of the frequency of BDD in the general population, it is estimated to affect 1-2% of the United States population.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder often begins in adolescence and may remain undiagnosed for years. It is rare for children under 12 to be diagnosed with BDD.
If BDD were simply an extreme form of normal attention to appearance, it would probably be much more common in females because women show more obvious outward signs of appearance concerns. However, BDD appears to affect roughly equal numbers of males and females. Research to date suggests that although the symptoms echo normal appearance concerns, BDD is far more complex and serious a disorder.