The present study is a follow-up of 34 cases admitted to a paediatric department with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) in 1942 and 1943. 45 persons without a history of RAP were selected at random and included as controls. Using a questionnaire, there was a higher incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms among persons with a history of RAP during childhood than among controls (P less than 0.05). 18 of the original 34 cases who still had symptoms were re-examined; 11 had a clinical picture consistent with a diagnosis of irritable colon, 5 had a picture compatible with both irritable colon and peptic ulcer/gastritis, and 2 had duodenal ulcer. Abdominal pains occurred no more frequently among children of parents who had had RAP during childhood than among children of parents without such a history. However, there was a higher incidence of abdominal pain among children of parents who were complaining of abdominal discomfort at the time of the investigation than among children whose parents were without such symptoms (P less than 0.005).
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