Hoarding in obsessive compulsive disorder: Results from a case-control study

J. Samuels, O. Joseph Bienvenu, M. A. Riddle, B. A.M. Cullen, M. A. Grados, Kung-Yee Liang, R. Hoehn-Saric, G. Nestadt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

249 Scopus citations


Hoarding occurs relatively frequently in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and there is evidence that patients with hoarding symptoms have more severe OCD and are less responsive to treatment. In the present study, we investigated hoarding symptoms in 126 subjects with OCD. Nearly 30% of the subjects had hoarding symptoms; hoarding was twice as prevalent in males than females. Compared to the 90 non-hoarding subjects, the 36 hoarding individuals had an earlier age at onset of, and more severe, obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Hoarders had greater prevalences of symmetry obsessions, counting compulsions, and ordering compulsions. Hoarders also had greater prevalences of social phobia, personality disorders, and pathological grooming behaviors (skin picking, nail biting, and trichotillomania). Hoarding and tics were more frequent in first-degree relatives of hoarding than non-hoarding probands. The findings suggest that the treatment of OCD patients with hoarding symptoms may be complicated by more severe OCD and the presence of co-occurring disorders. Hoarding appears to be transmitted in some OCD families and may differentiate a clinical subgroup of OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-528
Number of pages12
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Grooming behaviors
  • Hoarding
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Tic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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