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Cohort study
Combined infant regulatory problems and early maternal psychiatric illness predict risk of functional somatic symptoms in later childhood
  1. M Elena Garralda
  1. Imperial College London, Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry
  1. Correspondence to: Professor M Elena Garralda
    Imperial College London, Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry, St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK; e.garralda{at}

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Commentary on Rask CU, Ørnbøl E, Olsen EM, et al. Infant behaviors are predictive of functional somatic symptoms at ages 5–7 years: results from the Copenhagen Child Cohort CCC2000. J Pediatr 2013;162:335–42.

Implications for practice and research

  • Counselling mothers to help settle babies with high levels of feeding/sleeping/tactile reactivity may help prevent the development of functional somatic symptoms (FSS) in children.

  • Further research is required to identify additional risk factors for FSS and the evaluation of preventative interventions.


FSS in children are physical symptoms that cannot be ascribed to a medical disease. FSS affect approximately 10% of children and adolescents: when frequent and causing impairment they can lead to unproductive and costly medical assessments.1 FSS are often associated with anxiety disorders, and can predict adult physical and …

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  • Competing interests None.