Chronic Constipation in the Elderly

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Constipation is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal disorders encountered in clinical practice in Western societies. Its prevalence increases with age and is more frequently reported in female patients. Chronic constipation has been associated with considerable impairment in quality of life, can result in large individual healthcare costs, and represents a burden to healthcare delivery systems. This review will focus on the definition, epidemiology, diagnostic approach, and non-pharmacologic as well as pharmacologic management of chronic constipation in the elderly, including an overview of new medications currently under clinical investigation.

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