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Cohort study
Childhood non-specific abdominal pain may predict adulthood organic and functional abdominal disease in a small number of patients
  1. Hannu Paajanen
  1. University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Hannu Paajanen, University of Eastern Finland, PL 1777, Kuopio 70600 Kuopio, Finland; hannu.paajanen{at}

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Abdominal symptoms and pain are encountered in 5–10% of primary healthcare visits both in children and adults. The most common diagnoses in the emergency wards are non-specific abdominal pain (NSAP) and acute appendicitis accounting for 34–50% and 20–30% of all cases, respectively.1–3 NSAP implies short-lived, self-limited, acute abdominal pain for which no serious or definite organic cause is ever established. NSAP is common exclusion diagnosis for abdominal discomfort in childhood.


An NSAP cohort of 268 623 children aged 0–16 years was reviewed from English Hospital Episode Statistics from 1999 to 2011.The …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.