In this study, physicians from Sweden and the United States assessed whether noxious stimulation at birth increases the risk of developing psychosomatic or functional disorders during later life.
The team performed a matched case-control study using sibling controls.
They obtained the birth records for the children of 494 mothers. The mothers had uncomplicated pregnancies and had delivered 2 or more children with birth weights at least 2500g.
|Gastric suction at birth occurred more frequently in the cases.|
|Journal of Pediatrics|
At least 1 child of each mother was exposed to a perinatal complication or birth asphyxia.
The physicians evaluated a total of 1110 children.
They also identified 108 cases who had been hospitalized for functional intestinal symptoms. Of these, 96 cases were compared with 116 unaffected sibling controls.
The physicians found that functional intestinal symptoms occurred more commonly in the 1110 subjects, than in the general population.
They also found that gastric suction at birth occurred more frequently in the cases than their siblings.
There were no differences in the number of cases and controls exposed to perinatal trauma or birth asphyxia.
The team determined that gastric suction at birth was associated with functional intestinal disorders during later life (odds ratio 2.99).
Dr Anand and colleagues concluded, "Noxious stimulation caused by gastric suction at birth may promote the development of long-term visceral hypersensitivity and cognitive hypervigilance, leading to an increased prevalence of functional intestinal disorders in later life".