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Fifty six children who had been victims of fabricated illnesses and 82 of their 103 siblings were studied. In addition to the index fabrication, 64% of index children had had other illnesses fabricated by their mothers. Twenty nine per cent of the index children had a history of failure to thrive and 29% a history of non-accidental injury, inappropriate medication, or neglect. Seventy three per cent of the index children had been affected by at least one of these additional problems. Eleven per cent of the siblings had died in early childhood, the cause of death not being identified. Thirty nine per cent of siblings themselves had had illnesses fabricated by their mothers, and 17% had been affected by either failure to thrive, non-accidental injury, inappropriate medication, or neglect.