Childhood functional stomach pain ups risk for later anxiety

Childhood functional stomach pain ups risk for later anxiety
Children with functional abdominal pain are at greater risk for anxiety disorders as they get older, according to research published online Aug. 12 in Pediatrics.

(HealthDay)—Children with functional abdominal pain (FAP) are at greater risk for anxiety disorders as they get older, according to research published online Aug. 12 in Pediatrics.

Grace D. Shelby, Ph.D., of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues prospectively monitored 332 children with FAP and 147 control subjects to assess for psychiatric disorders and functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in adolescence and (mean age, 20.01 years).

The researchers found that, compared with controls, children with FAP had a significantly greater lifetime risk (51 versus 20 percent) and current risk (30 versus 12 percent) of , and a significantly greater (40 versus 16 percent) of depressive disorder. After controlling for gender and age, the odds ratios for lifetime and current anxiety disorders for those with FAP versus controls were 4.59 and 3.57, respectively. Among those with FAP, risk of current anxiety disorders was significantly greater for those with, versus those without, FGIDs at follow-up (40 versus 24 percent); the risk was lowest for controls (12 percent).

"Patients with FAP carry long-term vulnerability to anxiety that begins in childhood and persists into late adolescence and , even if abdominal pain resolves," the authors write.


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