Air pollution may be to blame for many cases of non-specific abdominal pain, say Canadian researchers who compared data on 120,000 patients and levels of air pollution such as ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.
The study found that nearly two-thirds of hospital visits for non-specific abdominal pain were by women, the majority ages 15-24. Young women were more likely to seek treatment for non-specific abdominal pain on days when there were elevated levels of air pollution, United Press International reported.
Young women may be most susceptible because they're at increased risk for functional motility disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, the researchers said.
The study was to be presented Wednesday at the Digestive Disease Week meeting in Chicago, UPI reported.