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Papers: 17 Sep 2022 - 23 Sep 2022

2022 Sep 17

J Pain

Twenty-year outcomes of a pediatric chronic abdominal pain cohort: Early adulthood health status and offspring physical and behavioral health.


Chronic abdominal pain (CAP) represents a common pediatric primary pain disorder that can have long-term effects on physical and mental health into adulthood. Pediatric CAP and Control cohorts recruited in childhood (∼11 years old, T1) and then assessed in emerging adulthood (∼20 years old, T2) were evaluated again for health outcomes in early adulthood (∼30 years old, T3) for the current study. Further, the study evaluated the mental and physical health of offspring of participants who had become parents. Participants who agreed to enroll at T3 (CAP: n = 90, Control: n = 55) completed measures regarding current health, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and their child's health when applicable. Results indicated close to 20% of the CAP cohort reported recurrent CAP across all three timepoints. Participants with current CAP reported poorer HRQoL compared to participants with remitted CAP who reported poorer HRQoL compared to Control participants. The CAP cohort reported higher health-related anxiety compared to the Control cohort regardless of current pain status. CAP compared to Control participants reported greater emotional problems and fewer conduct problems in their children. Longitudinal studies are needed to assess the developmental course of pediatric chronic pain and intergenerational pathways of risk and resilience. Perspective: This article evaluates patterns of chronic abdominal pain from childhood into early adulthood. Patients with pediatric chronic abdominal pain continue to present with health-related anxiety in adulthood and report greater emotional problems in offspring.