Noncardiac Chest Pain and Psychopathology in Children and Adolescents

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Objective: We sought to examine the prevalence of DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents with complaints of noncardiac chest pain (NCCP). Method: We assessed 27 youngsters (ages 8-17 years) referred to a pediatric cardiology practice with complaints of NCCP. Each child and a parent were interviewed using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children. Results: Sixteen youngsters (59%) were diagnosed with a current DSM-IV disorder. Fifteen (56%) had a current anxiety disorder, nine of whom were diagnosed with panic disorder. One participant was diagnosed with a depressive disorder. Conclusion: Results of this preliminary study suggest that DSM-IV anxiety disorders may be common in youngsters with NCCP. No evidence was found for high prevalence of depression in this sample. Larger controlled studies are needed to determine the prevalence and impact of psychopathology in youngsters with NCCP.



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