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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2019 Apr 25;73(4):207-212. doi: 10.4166/kjg.2019.73.4.207.

Prevalence of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in School Children and Adolescents.

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Department of Pediatrics, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.



The epidemiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in developed and developing countries involves a high prevalence of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. This study examined the prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders in schoolchildren and adolescents in Colombia using the Rome III criteria.


A cross-sectional study was performed on Colombian children between 8 and 17 years old. The Spanish version of the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms-Rome III Version self-report form was answered by students from two schools. The prevalence of FGID was calculated and correlation tests were conducted among the variables analyzed.


A total of 864 children with a mean age of 12.5±2.5 years were analyzed; 50.7% were female. Two hundred and fifty-nine children (30%) had at least one FGID, and of these, 163 were female (62.9%). Sixty-nine children had two or more FGIDs (8%). Functional constipation was the most prevalent disorder (13.2%), followed in order by abdominal migraine (8.3%), irritable bowel syndrome (6.9%), and aerophagia (3.1%). A significantly higher prevalence of FGID was observed in females (p=0.000). No significant difference was observed between the age groups or type of school they attended.


The overall prevalence of FGID in the sample was 30%, with functional constipation being the most common. These results are similar to those of other prevalence studies reported elsewhere.


Constipation; Developing countries; Epidemiology; Irritable bowel syndrome; Schools

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