The report is published in the June 5 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
For the study, researchers collected data on almost 92,000 households who participated in the National Survey of Children's Health. Telephone interviews were conducted from April 2007 through July 2008.
"This is the first-ever estimate of Tourette Syndrome from a nationally representative sample of U.S. children," said report co-author Rebecca Bitsko, a CDC health scientist. "It's a baseline estimate for us to work with, and it's going to allow us to begin to understand the impact of Tourette Syndrome and also to look at trends in Tourette Syndrome over time."
In their study, the researchers found that the condition is three times more common in boys than in girls, and twice as common in children between 12 and 17 compared with children aged 6 to 12.
About 27 percent of children with Tourette Syndrome have moderate or severe disease. In addition, 79 percent of children with the condition have at least one other neurodevelopmental problem, the researchers found.
White children are more than twice as likely as black children or Hispanic children to have been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.
This could mean that minority populations may have some protection against the condition, Scahill said. "But quite honestly, I sort of doubt that. The other explanation is that these children are less likely to come to treatment attention. It looks like we are missing more children in minority populations."
Dr. Robert King, medical director of the Tourette's Clinic at the Yale Child Study Center, said this is an important study that adds to the unders
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