Abdominal pain-predominant functional gastrointestinal diseases (AP-FGD) are common in children and commonly attributed to exposure to child abuse. However, this relationship has not been studied in teenagers, and the main objective of the current study was to assess it. Teenagers were recruited from four randomly selected schools in Western province of Sri Lanka. Data were collected using a validated self-administered questionnaire. AP-FGD were diagnosed using Rome III criteria. A total of 1850 teenagers aged 13-18 years were included. Three hundred and five (16.5%) had AP-FGD. AP-FGD were significantly higher in those exposed to sexual (34.0%), emotional (25.0%) and physical (20.2%) abuse, than in those not abused (13.0%, p < 0.001). Those with AP-FGD exposed to abuse had a higher severity score for bowel symptoms (30.8% vs. 24.7% in not abused, p < 0.05). This study highlights the importance of identifying exposure to abuse in management of teenagers with AP-FGD.
Keywords: abdominal pain; abuse; child; functional gastrointestinal disorder; somatization.
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