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Recurrent Abdominal Pains:A Field Survey of 1,783 School Children in Seoul

Journal of the Korean Pediatric Society 1997;40(2):199-208.
Published online February 15, 1997.
Recurrent Abdominal Pains:A Field Survey of 1,783 School Children in Seoul
Yong Hwan Cho, Byung Duk Seo, Yong Joo Kim, Nam Su Kim, Hahng Lee
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
서울 소재 국민학교 학생을 대상으로 한 반복성 복통증에 관한 설문조사
조용환, 서병덕, 김용주, 김남수, 이항
한양대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
: We investigated the occurrence rate of recurrent abdominal pain(RAP) in general population of elementary school children, accompanied symptoms, symptomaggravating factors such as emotional stresses, food and personality characters, which time of day the pain develops and whether they visited hospital for RAP.
: From 1995. 4. 27. to 1995. 5. 12. questionnaires were given to the parents of 1,783 elementary school children in Seoul. The qestions were as follow; 1) Have your child ever experienced abdominal pain more than 3 months and more than 3 times? 2) Were there any accompanied symptoms? 3) Does emotional stress encrease or induce the abdominal pain of your child? 4) Which time of day does the abdominal pain occur? 5) Have your child visited hospital for the RAP? 6) How is your child's personality and emotional characters? 7) Which foods induce or aggravate the abdominalpain? 8) Does your child with RAP like meat foods or vegetable foods? 9) If you think an emotional stressful factor for RAP, do you have such factors in the environment of your child?
: 1) Among the 1,783 children, 296 children had RAP(16.6%), boys 143(15.4%), girl 153(7.9%). The distribution of school grade of the children with RAP were in the order of the 2nd. grade(23.5%), 5th. grade(19.6%), 4th grade(15.8%), 6th. grade(15.0%), 1st. grade(14.3%), and 3rd. grade(11.9). 2) Symptoms which were accompained with abdominal pain was poor appetite(35.1%), diarrhea(31.8%), headache(27.1%), constipation(21.7%) vomiting(18.4%), urinary symptoms (11.1%) and 73 children(24.4%) had no accompanied symptom. 3) In 181 children(60.5% of RAP children), abdominal pain was induced or aggravated by emotional or psychologic stress. 4) In 130 children(43.5% of RAP children) abdominal pain occurred at postprandial time, in 80 children(28.6%) beforemeal, and in 70 children(23.4) early morning or night time. 5) Main personality characteristics of children with RAP were poor self confidences (111,37.1%), strong desires for sucess(104,34.8%), and compulsivenesses(55,18.4%). 6) 135 children with RAP(45.2%) visited doctor due to RAP 7) Foods which induced or aggravated the abdominal symptoms were dairy food(56 children, 19.4% of RAP children), greasy food(50, 17.3%), wheat(29,10%), pork(21,7.3%) and in 165 children with RAP(57.1) foods had no relation with the abdominal pain. 8) 218 children with RAP(75.4%) liked meat foods(75.4%), and 73 children(25.3%)vegetable foods. 9) Specific emotional stresses of children with RAP which were described by the parents were school problems in 41 children(14.2%), divorces of parents in 3 children (1.4%).
: RAP in school children were more frequent than previously reported. We suspected organic causes for the RAP in many children who developed abdominal pain at night time, who had some accompanied symptoms, whose symptoms had no relation with emotional stresses or foods. Further active investigations in children with RAP are needed to elucidate the role of associated disorders.
Key Words: Recurrent abdominal pain, Field survey

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