Prevalence of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Adolescents.


eMediNexus    29 December 2017

A recent study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology assessed the prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in children and adolescents in the Mediterranean region of Europe. Here, data was collected on 13,750 children, 4-18 years of age, participating in the Mediterranean-European Area Project – a school-based health study. Data from 6602 students, between 4 and 10 years old (group A), and 7148 subjects between 11 and 18 years old (group B) was analyzed. Children with FGIDs were identified based on answers to questionnaires on pediatric gastrointestinal symptoms, selected based on Rome III criteria. The results revealed that in group A, the prevalence of FGIDs was 20.7%. The most frequent disorders were functional constipation (11.7%), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, 4%), aerophagia (3.5%), and abdominal migraine (3.1%), while the prevalence of abdominal migraine was significantly higher in girls than in boys. On the other hand, in group B, the overall prevalence of FGIDs was 26.6%. The most frequent disorders were functional constipation (13.1%), abdominal migraine (7.8%), aerophagia (6.3%), and IBS (5.6%). Moreover, in group B, FGIDs had a higher prevalence among girls than boys. Furthermore, in both groups, significant differences were observed in the prevalence of specific disorders among specific countries. From the results, it was concluded that FGIDs was more frequent in girls among children 4 to 18 years old, from the Mediterranean-European Area Project. It was concluded that functional constipation, aerophagia, abdominal migraine, and IBS are the most common disorders. However, it was acknowledged that prevalence of FGIDs varies significantly among countries.

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