To find out whether a long-term physical illness since childhood increases the risk of experiencing psychological and somatic symptoms, we interviewed a group of 487 patients aged 20–25 years and compared these findings to 211 controls. Both somatic (χ2 = 9.11, d.f. = 6, p < 0.001) and psychological (χ2 = 11.0, d.f. = 6, p < 0.001) symptom indexes varied significantly between the patient groups. Female sex, family conflicts during childhood, poor scholastic performance and depressive mental disorders were especially observed to be significant risk factors related to an excessive occurrence of these symptoms. The results suggest that a disabling disease lasting from childhood until adulthood is complicated by a significant incidence of both psychological and somatic symptoms.

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