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[What people mean by constipation? A general population based-study.]

Rev Gastroenterol Mex. 2009 Oct-Dec;74(4):321-8

Authors: Remes-Troche J, Carmona-Sánchez R, González-Gutiérrez M, Martínez-Salgado J, Gómez-Escudero O, Ramírez A, Vázquez-Jiménez G, García-Leiva J, Abarca-Castrejon M, Roesch-Dietlen F

Introduction: The word "constipation" is used by people to refer multiple symptoms such as infrequent stools, hard stools, excessive straining and feeling of incomplete evacuation. This variability is a confounding factor and may induce discrepancies between doctors and patients. Aim: to evaluate among the general population of 6 different cities of Mexico, what is meant by constipation. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in the cities of Veracruz, Tampico, Tuxtepec, Colima, Puebla and San Luis Potosi (representing 4 geographical areas of Mexico). All subjects answer a questionnaire that assesses self-perception of constipation with the question: Do you consider yourself constipated? Frequency and stool form (Bristol), symptoms and associated factors to constipation were also evaluated. Rome III criteria for functional constipation (FC) and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) were applied. Results: One thousand and forty one subjects were evaluated (mean age 35 +/- 15 years), 657 (63%) women. In our study, 87% (n = 907) had a bowel movement at least every 48 hours and most of them (67%) have stools type 3-4. Thirty four percent (n = 356) of subjects considered to have constipation, of whom 73 (21%) met criteria for FC, 65 (18%) for IBS-C and 218 subjects (61%) did not meet diagnostic criteria. The symptom that best defines constipation was straining (47%). Correlation and concordance between self-perception and the Rome criteria was 0.14 (p = 0.61). Conclusions: In our population, 61% of subjects who perceived symptoms of constipation are not really constipated according to the criteria of Rome. Key words: constipation, prevalence, functional constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, Rome criteria, Mexico.

PMID: 20423761 [PubMed - in process]

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