Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Paediatr. 2007 Apr;96(4):572-6.

Recurrent abdominal pain in school children: effect of obesity and diet.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



To study the epidemiology and some of the risk factors of childhood recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) in school age children.


We used a questionnaire concerning socioeconomic parameters, intensity, frequency, duration, nature of RAP and anthropometric measures. We used several criteria to identify RAP and the Wong-Baker FACES scale for pain intensity and calculated the gender/age-specific body mass index (BMI) Z-score using NCHS standards. Obesity was defined as a BMI>or=95th percentile for age and gender.


A total of 925 children mean age of 9.5 years completed and returned the questionnaires. The prevalence of RAP was 24%; 22% among boys versus 26% among girls (p=0.28) and reached its peak among children aged 7-9 (29%) years. Children with BMI>or=95% percentile reported more RAP compared to those not obese (33.3% vs. 22.5%) (OR=1.8, p=0.01). There was an inverse correlation between fruit consumption and RAP prevalence with 20% among children reporting more than three serving of fruit per week compared to 40% of those who did not consume any fruits (p<0.002). Logistic regression analysis confirmed BMI>or=95th percentile and low consumption of fruits are significant risk factors for RAP.


There is a significant association between RAP and obesity and both conditions are prevalent among children in this population. Understanding more about the co-morbidity between RAP and obesity could have important implications on RAP management and treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center