Factors Associated With Intestinal Constipation in Chronic Patients With Stroke Sequelae Undergoing Rehabilitation

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The objective of this study was to define which stroke-related factors constitute independent variables in the incidence of intestinal constipation (IC) of chronic patients admitted to a hospital rehabilitation program. All patients consecutively admitted for rehabilitation were recruited for the study. In the Poisson multiple regression analysis using a hierarchical model, sociodemographic variables, comorbidities, medication, previous history of constipation, life habits, and stroke-related variables were considered for defining factors associated with IC. A 31% prevalence (95% confidence interval [CI]: 25.3–37.1) of IC was detected. Among the factors associated, female gender (adjusted prevalence ratio [PRadjusted] = 1.79; 95% CI: 1.20–2.68), intestinal complaints prior to stroke (PRadjusted = 3.71; 95% CI: 2.60–5.31), intake of less than 800 ml of fluid per day (PRadjusted = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.20– 2.45), age greater than 65 years at brain injury (PRadjusted = 1.67; 95% CI: 1.01–2.75), and partially impaired anterior brain circulation (PRadjusted = 3.35; 95% CI: 1.02–10.97) were associated with IC. Female gender, elderly, prior history of IC, low fluid intake, and partial impairment of anterior brain circulation were factors independently associated with IC in stroke survivors undergoing rehabilitation. These findings require further validation and may serve toward improving bowel retraining programs for this patient group.

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