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Researchers Link Childhood Stomachaches with Mental Health Issues

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Could a simple tummy ache be a warning sign of future mental health problems? A new study says it might.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University studied nearly 500 children with and without "chronic abdominal pain," and found that more than half of those who reported pains went on to experience an anxiety disorder. Just 20 percent of the children who did not report abdominal pain suffered from anxiety disorder. Kids with chronic stomach pain were also more than twice as likely to deal with depression.

Doctors hope that this study may help them understand the link between psychiatric problems and how the body processes pain.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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