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J Pediatr. 2018 Aug;199:171-177. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.02.069. Epub 2018 Apr 27.

A Link between Nutritional and Growth States in Pediatric Patients with Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

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Department of Human Biology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland. Electronic address:
Department of Human Biology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland.
Department and Clinic of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.



To investigate nutritional status and growth status of pediatric patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and to examine the relationship between nutritional status and linear growth in these children.


In total, 102 pediatric patients diagnosed with functional constipation (FC), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or functional abdominal pain (FAP) in years 2013-2015 were subjected to anthropometric measurements. Anthropometry comprised body height, leg and trunk lengths, body weight, mid-upper arm circumference, and 3 skinfold thicknesses. Body fat percentage was obtained with bioelectrical impedance analysis. Indices of the nutritional status and body proportions were calculated and adjusted for age and sex.


Excessive body weight and excessive fatness were the most common in children with IBS. Being underweight was most common in children with FAP, but fat deficiency was similarly frequent in the FAP and in FC groups. Short stature was the most common in children with FC. Children with IBS were the best nourished and the tallest for age and sex due to increased trunk length. Body height and linear body proportions adjusted for age and sex were positively associated with body weight and body fatness in the total sample.


Children with FGIDs present various linear growth abnormalities that are associated with body weight and body fatness. Although excessive body weight and body fat are common in children with IBS, pediatricians should be aware of the risk of malnutrition in children with other FGIDs.


body composition; body height; body proportions; functional abdominal pain; functional constipation; irritable bowel syndrome

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