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 15 December 2017

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News

Predicting poor health outcomes in children with functional abdominal pain

Nausea in children with functional abdominal pain predicts poor health outcomes in young adulthood, reports the latest issue of Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

News image

Nausea is common among children with functional abdominal pain. 

Dr Alexandra Russell and colleagues from Tennessee, USA evaluated the relation of nausea to short- and long-term morbidity in pediatric patients with functional abdominal pain.

The researchers performed a prospective study of 871 children with functional abdominal pain seen in a pediatric gastroenterology practice.

Follow-up data were collected from 392 of the patients at 9 years later. 

Participants were defined as having significant nausea if they reported nausea “a lot” or “a whole lot” within the past 2 weeks. 

Validated questionnaires assessed abdominal pain, gastrointestinal and somatic symptoms, and depression. Baseline measures, anxiety, and the Rome III criteria were assessed in the follow-up evaluation.

45% of the patients reported significant nausea
Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology
The team found that at baseline, 45% of the patients reported significant nausea. 

The researchers found that those with nausea reported worse abdominal pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, somatic symptoms, and depression than those without nausea. 

When the children had reached young adulthood, those with nausea in childhood continued to have more severe gastrointestinal, and somatic symptoms than patients without nausea in childhood, as well as higher levels of anxiety and depression. 

In the follow-up evaluation, the team observed that somatic symptoms, depression, and anxiety remained significant after controlling for baseline abdominal pain severity.

Dr Russell's team concludes, "Pediatric patients with functional abdominal pain and nausea have more severe short- and long-term gastrointestinal and somatic symptoms than patients with functional abdominal pain without nausea, as well as reductions in mental health and daily function."

"Pediatric patients with functional abdominal pain and nausea therefore need intensive treatment, and follow-up evaluation."

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017: 15(5): 706–711
01 May 2017

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