Gastrointestinal Problems in Chinese Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Received 6 May 2020
Accepted for publication 6 July 2020
Published 24 July 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1807—1815
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning
Kelly YC Lai,1 Patrick WL Leung,2 Se Fong Hung,1 Caroline KS Shea,3 Flora Mo,3 Kiti KI Che,3 Chun-Yu Tse,2 Fanny LF Lau,1 Suk Ling Ma,1 Justin CY Wu,4 Suzanne So,2 Mark R Dadds5
1Department of Psychiatry, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; 2Department of Psychology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; 3Department of Psychiatry, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, Tai Po, Hong Kong; 4Department of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; 5School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Correspondence: Kelly YC Lai
Department of Psychiatry, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
Tel +852 26076025
Fax +852 26671255
Purpose: Gastrointestinal symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorder may constitute a subgroup with complex gut-brain interactions underlying the pathogenesis. This study examined the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms in a sample of Chinese children with autism spectrum disorder, as well as the factors related to them.
Participants and Methods: The participants included a clinic sample of 107 children with autism spectrum disorder and 249 gender- and age-matched typically developing community children.
Results: Results found children with autism spectrum disorder to be twice as likely to suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms, reporting increased rates of constipation, abdominal migraine and aerophagia. Autism spectrum disorder diagnosis remained a significant predictor of gastrointestinal symptoms after taking into account the potential confounders that included comorbid psychopathologies, diets, and parental anxiety and depression.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that autism spectrum disorder with gastrointestinal symptoms may constitute a subgroup within the autism spectrum disorder population that warrants further investigation.
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, gastrointestinal symptoms, subgroup, children, Chinese
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