Dr Talley and colleagues from Australia prospectively evaluated the natural history of abdominal pain in a US population, and evaluated potential risk factors for the onset and disappearance of abdominal pain with increasing age.
Between 1988 and 2004, valid self-report questionnaires that recorded gastrointestinal symptoms including severity and frequency of abdominal pain were mailed to randomly selected cohorts of community residents followed over time.
This study identified all respondents who answered abdominal pain questions at an initial and follow-up survey.
The researchers evaluated 1913 subjects.
|Rates of increasing abdominal pain score were 18%|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The onset and disappearance rate of abdominal pain over the follow-up were 18%, and 47%, respectively.
The team found that the rates of increasing vs. decreasing abdominal pain score were 18% vs. 21%, respectively.
While younger age at initial survey was associated with the onset of abdominal pain, older age at initial survey and times between surveys were associated with the disappearance of abdominal pain.
The research team observed that female gender, higher somatization scores, and larger changes in somatization scores were positively associated with the onset of abdominal pain.
Dr Talley's team concludes, "Increasing age is associated with the disappearance of abdominal pain in the community."