Stomach Pain in Children Could Create Anxiety Disorders in Adulthood

by MSmith_17 on September 11, 2013 - 7:49pm


The article “Stomach Pain in Children Could Create Anxiety Disorders in Adulthood” discusses children who suffer from chronic stomach pain and who go to doctor frequently with upset stomachs could lead to an anxiety disorder in adulthood by the age of 20. This study does not bring up any statistics about suicide but just like any mental health disorder suicide is very prevalent amongst anxiety disorders.  The article suggests that studies done previously say that 8- 25 percent of all youth suffer from extreme stomach pain and the symptoms vary from anxiety to inflammatory bowel disease. The University of Vanderbilt Medicine School did a study of their own by keeping track of 332 children who visited doctor offices from the ages of 8-17 with unexplained stomach issues.  Along with the previous study Vanderbilt’s school of medicine tracked the progress of 147 youth kids from local school who complained of chronic stomach issues. Once each individual reached 20 years old, Vanderbilt’s medicine school reached out to the individuals and interviewed them via email, and phone or in person and asked them about depression and anxiety. The results were that 51 percent of the children had stomach issues had no expernice with anxiety while 31 percent have had experiences with anxiety.  Another interesting statistic was that 20 percent of a non-stomach pain group suffered from an anxiety disorder. Lynn Walker professor at Vanderbilt said the following about anxiety and stomach pain; "It's not just that they are anxious because of the pain. We saw that once the abdominal pain went away, they still had clinically significant anxiety”. Her point is to address them both together and help kids to control their anxiety.I enjoyed this article because it offered many valuable points about anxiety and a small issue like stomach pain and I also realized I could relate this article to myself. I also enjoyed the statistics in this article because it shows how prevalent Mental Health disorders are and how it can start very young and affect you throughout your adult life.


I find it very interesting that statistics have shown that there is a direct link between stomach issues at a young age and anxiety issues years down the line. The study conducted by Vanderbilt's Medicine provided evidence of the correlation between stomach pain and anxiety. The study created a result of 31% who fell under their assumption that stomach issues at a young age would relate to a mental disorder like anxiety. This makes me wonder if by the age of 20, these young adults are anxious due to the possibility that they might be struck by stomach issues at any given time, or if these 20 year olds suffer from anxiety due to a past filled with random moments of inexplicable physical pain. Very interesting topic!

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