Lactose malabsorption based on breath hydrogen test in children with recurrent abdominal pain

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Abstract

Background Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) is common among
school-age children. Previous studies found that lactose malab-
sorption has an important role in RAP in children. Up to date, data
on the prevalence of lactose malabsorption in children with RAP
in Indonesia has not been available.
Objective To elicit the prevalence of RAP and lactose malabsorption in
children with RAP, and to determine associated foods that cause RAP
in children with and without lactose malabsorption, the frequency of
lactose intolerance during breath hydrogen test (BHT), and also the
onset and duration of the symptoms after a lactose load.
Methods This was a cross-sectional study conducted on junior
high school students who suffered from recurrent abdominal pain.
Results Of 1054 students screened, 157 (14.9%) fulfilled the Apley’s
criteria for RAP. Of 157, 85 children were enrolled and underwent
BHT. Fifty five of them (65%) were girls. Lactose malabsorption
was found in 68 (80%) subjects. Milk and yogurt were the most
frequent products that cause symptoms of RAP in our subjects
who mostly (80%) were malabsorber. Lactose intolerance during
BHT was found in 69 (81%) children. Symptoms appeared in 30
minutes after lactose ingestion, and the most frequent symptom
was abdominal pain (44%). Lactose intolerance symptoms disap-
peared in about 15 hours.
Conclusions The prevalence of RAP in children aged 12-14 years
was 14.9%. The prevalence of lactose malabsorption in children
with RAP was 80%. Milk and yogurt were the most frequent products
that cause symptoms of RAP in our subjects who mostly were
malabsorbers. The frequency of lactose intolerance during BHT
was 81%, and the symptoms lasted within approximately 15 hours
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
JournalPaediatrica Indonesiana
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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