Fructose is a carbohydrate that is common in the Western diet and can cause gastrointestinal problems in both children and adults. The primary goal of this study is to describe the frequency of fructose malabsorption (FM) in symptomatic patients 18 years or younger who underwent a fructose breath test in a single tertiary centre between 2013 and 2018, as well as to determine whether certain symptoms are associated with test positivity. Out of 273 tests, 183 (67 percent) were FM compatible.

Bloating was the most common pretest symptom in the total study sample (83 percent), followed by stomach discomfort (73 percent ). Patients that tested positive were younger than those who tested negative (median 5 vs 8 years, P 0.001). Only age 6 years (odds ratio 2.93, 95 percent confidence interval 1.64–5.23) and lack of nausea (odds ratio = 3.32, 95 percent confidence interval 1.56–7.05) were related with FM in a multivariate analysis that included age, sex, and symptoms (diarrhoea, stomach pain, bloating, nausea).