A Population-Based Study on Bowel Habits in a Korean Community: Prevalence of Functional Constipation and Self-Reported Constipation

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Most studies of bowel habits havebeen conducted in Western countries. This study was conducted to estimate the epidemiology of constipation and the discrepancy between self-reported constipation and bowel habits in Koreans. Telephone interviews regarding bowel habits were conducted with a total of 1029 individuals in Korea, 15 years of age or older. Subjects were given a questionnaire which asked about bowel symptoms, sociodemographic associations, laxative use, and physician visits. Of all subjects 95.6% had a defecation frequency of between three per week and three per day. The prevalence was 16.5% for self-reported constipation, 9.2% for functional constipation (FC), and 3.9% for constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C). Of subjects' self-reporting constipation, proportions of FC and IBS-C were 21.8% and 23.5%, respectively. Of subjects excluding self-reported constipation, the proportion of FC was 6.8%. Prevalences of self-reported constipation and IBS-C were higher in females than in males (P < 0.001). Of subjects' self-reporting constipation, 8.2% used laxatives. We conclude that constipation is a common problem in the general Korean population.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles