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Constipation most common cause of children's abdominal pain
Date:12/17/2007

be performed safely and explained to children so that they understand its purpose.

"It's important for doctors to do a thorough evaluation for abdominal pain, as there are many causes. In addition to constipation, having a cold or sore throat can also cause abdominal pain, for example," Loening-Baucke said.

The study found that 83 (9 percent) of 962 children who had received at least one "well-child" visit during a six-month period in 2004 at University of Iowa Children's Hospital or University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics reported acute abdominal pain at that visit or another clinic or emergency visit. Significantly more girls (12 percent of the 962) reported such pain, compared to only 5 percent of boys.

Of the 83 children with acute abdominal pain, 72 were seen in a primary care clinic and 11 were examined after hours in the emergency department. Together, acute constipation (lasting eight or fewer weeks) and chronic constipation (lasting eight or more weeks) accounted for 48 percent of the cases (40 children), making it the most common cause of the pain.

Only 2 percent of the children with pain had a surgical condition such as appendicitis. In addition, doctors could not determine causes for 19 percent of the patients with pain.

While most of the patients reviewed in the study were Caucasian, individuals from all other races were included.


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Contact: Becky Soglin
becky-soglin@uiowa.edu
319-335-6660
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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