The effects of ageing on the onset and disappearance of unexplained abdominal pain: A population-based study

R. S. Choung, G. R. Locke, C. D. Schleck, A. R. Zinsmeister, N. J. Talley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The population ≥65 years is rapidly increasing, but remarkably little is known about the natural history of abdominal pain with ageing. Aim To prospectively evaluate the natural history of abdominal pain (severity and frequency) in a US population, and evaluate potential risk factors (including somatisation) for the onset and disappearance of abdominal pain with increasing age. Methods Between 1988 and 2004, valid self-report questionnaires that recorded gastrointestinal symptoms including severity and frequency of abdominal pain were mailed to randomly selected cohorts of community residents followed over time. This study identified all respondents who answered abdominal pain questions at an initial and follow-up survey. Results One thousand nine hundred and thirteen subjects were included (mean age in years at first survey: 48 ± 12 (SD), mean age at second survey: 59 ± 13 (SD); 53% female). The onset and disappearance rate of abdominal pain over the follow-up were 18% (95% CI, 16, 20) and 47% (43, 50) respectively. The rates of increasing vs. decreasing abdominal pain score were 18% (16, 20) vs. 21% (20, 23) respectively. While younger age at initial survey was associated with the onset of abdominal pain {vs. subjects without abdominal pain, [OR 0.9 (0.7, 1.0)]}, older age at initial survey and times between surveys were associated with the disappearance of abdominal pain {vs. subjects with abdominal pain, [OR 1.2 (1.0, 1.5)]}. Female gender (OR 1.4 [1.0, 2.1]), higher somatisation scores (OR 5.3 [3.2, 8.7]) and larger changes in somatisation score (OR 2.1 [1.4, 3.2]) were positively associated with the onset of abdominal pain. Conclusion Increasing age is associated with the disappearance of abdominal pain in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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