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Study: Chronic stomach aches in children may lead to mental health problems

A stomach ache is a common complaint from some children, but could it be a warning sign for future mental health problems?
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A stomach ache is a common complaint from some children, but could it be a warning sign for future mental health problems?

A new study suggests that children with chronic abdominal pain may be at a greater risk for mental health problems.

Researchers at Vanderbilt studied nearly 500 children with and without chronic abdominal pain and more than half of those who reported these pains later experienced an anxiety disorder as young adults - compared to less than 20 percent of pain-free kids.

Also, children with chronic stomach aches were 2.5 times as likely to have experienced depression.

The study may help doctors better understand the link between psychiatric problems and how we process pain, an understanding which may one day lead to new therapies.

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