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Persistent constipation on health-related quality of life in older community-dwelling women

The latest issue of Gastroenterology investigated the impact of persistent constipation on health-related quality of life and mortality in older community-dwelling women.

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Very little is known about whether the reported health-related impact of constipation is worse in people who experience constipation over a long period of time vs those with more transient symptoms.

Dr Koloski and colleagues from Australia determined the impact of persistent vs transient constipation on health-related quality of life, depression, and mortality.

The research team analyzed data from 5,107 women who answered “Have you had constipation in the past 12 months?” in all 5 surveys sent out every 3 years of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.

Of the 5,107 women, 21%, 54%, and 25% reported having persistent constipation on at least 4 out of 5 surveys, transient constipation reported on 1–3 surveys, or none reported over the 15-year time frame, respectively.

The team evaluated women who reported persistent constipation had significantly lower scores for all domains of quality of life on the SF-36 except role-emotional, and had higher levels of self-reported depression, even after adjusting for number of chronic illnesses and fluid intake.

21% had persistent constipation on at least 4 out of 5 surveys
Gastroenterology


Dr Koloski's team commented, "Mortality rates were increased when comparing women with no reported constipation with persistently reported constipation controlling for specific chronic illnesses."

"Persistent constipation among older women is associated with poor health outcomes."

Gastroenterol 2013: 108(1): 1152–1158
16 July 2013

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