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For some, constipation appears to be a life-long problem. A study recently published in Pediatrics followed a group of children for approximately 11 years to assess their long-term prognosis.

According to the study abstract, study participants were approximately 400 children, ages 5 to 18, who had a diagnosis of functional constipation. The children received six weeks of treatment and then were assessed at six months, twelve months, and every year following. A "good clinical outcome" was defined as having three or more bowel movements per week for four or more weeks, with two or less incontinence episondes per month. Use of laxatives was not considered relevant.

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