Pain in the chest, abdomen, or pelvis is a common experience. For some people, this happens just now and then, but for others this is a daily occurrence. Community surveys have suggested that 25% of people have intermittent abdominal pain, 20% have chest pain, and 24% of women have pelvic pain. Only a minority of these people seek care. The population that seeks care is different from those who do not, and thus population-based studies are needed to truly understand the epidemiology of these visceral and abdominal pain syndromes. These conditions are associated with diminished quality of life, and when people do seek care, they incur significant medical expense. This review will outline the epidemiology of the main visceral and abdominal pain syndromes a clinician is likely to encounter.
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