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A National Profile of Tourette Syndrome, 2011–2012
Filetype[PDF-174.63 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Dev Behav Pediatr
  • Description:

    To provide recent estimates of the prevalence of Tourette Syndrome among a nationally representative sample of US children, and to describe the association of Tourette Syndrome with indicators of health and functioning.


    Data on 65,540 US children aged 6–17 years from the 2011–2012 National Survey of Children s Health were analyzed. Parents reported whether a health care provider had ever told them their child had Tourette Syndrome or other neurobehavioral or chronic health conditions, and whether their child had current Tourette Syndrome.


    Based on parent report, 0.19% of US children had Tourette Syndrome; the average age of diagnosis was 8.1 years. Children with Tourette Syndrome, compared to those without, were more likely to have co-occurring neurobehavioral and other health conditions, meet criteria for designation as having a special health care need, receive mental health treatment, have unmet mental health care needs and have parents with high parenting aggravation and parents who were contacted about school problems; they were less likely to receive effective care coordination or have a medical home. After controlling for co-occurring neurobehavioral conditions, the findings on parents being contacted about school problems and children having unmet mental health care needs were no longer significant.


    TS is characterized by co-occurring neurobehavioral and other health conditions, and poorer health, education and family relationships. The findings support previous recommendations to consider co-occurring conditions in the diagnosis and treatment of Tourette Syndrome. Future research may explore whether having a medical home improves outcomes among children with Tourette Syndrome.

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