Objective: The epidemiology of chronic constipation in the elderly remains poorly defined. We aimed to study the prevalence of, and potential risk factors for, constipation in a representative elderly community, using symptom-based diagnostic criteria. Methods: An age-and gender-stratified random sample of 1833 eligible residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, aged 65 yr and over, was mailed a valid self-report questionnaire; 1375 responded (75%). Results: The overall age- and gender-adjusted prevalence (per 100) of any constipation was 40.1 (95% CI 38.9, 44.4); for functional constipation and outlet difficulty or delay, the prevalence rates were 24.4 (95% CI 22.0- 26.9) and 20.5 (95% CI 18.2-22.8), respectively. Self-reported constipation did not reliably identify functional constipation or outlet delay. Outlet delay, but not functional constipation, was more frequent in women; functional constipation, but not outlet delay, was associated with advancing age. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications were significant risk factors in subjects with functional constipation and outlet delay combined. Conclusions: In independently living, elderly persons, constipation is a common complaint; among these subjects, there appear to be symptom subgroups that can be identified.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||American Journal of Gastroenterology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1996|
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