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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children and adolescents with cyclic vomiting syndrome are likely to have one or more psychiatric disorders, especially anxiety disorders, a study indicates.
"Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a severe, debilitating disorder characterized by recurring stereotypic episodes of repeated vomiting, lasting from 2 hours to 10 days," Drs. Sally Tarbell and B U. K. Li, from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, write in the medical journal Headache.
They add that most children with the disorder have a subtype that is considered to be a periodic syndrome and a precursor to migraine.
The researchers asked 85 parents of affected children between the ages of 3 and 18 years to complete the age-appropriate Children's Symptom Inventory (CSI), a questionnaire that screens for psychiatric problems in youngsters. Twenty-one
On the age-appropriate CSI, 40 subjects (47 percent) were deemed to have anxiety disorder, and 12 (14 percent) met the criteria for depression or other "affective" disorders.
Discrepancies were seen between parent and adolescent reports of psychiatric symptoms. Parents endorsed significantly more symptoms than the adolescents for panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In 35 families (56 percent), at least one parent had a history of a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. .
These findings, Tarbell and colleagues conclude, suggest that a children and teens being evaluated for cyclic vomiting syndrome should also be screened for psychiatric disorders.
SOURCE: Headache, February 2008.