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Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2002 Mar;5(1):26-32. Korean.
Published online Mar 31, 2002.  https://doi.org/10.5223/kjpgn.2002.5.1.26
Copyright © 2002 The Korean Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Prevalence and Associated Factors of Constipation in the School-aged Children
Sung Jong Cho, Young Jun Ahn, Eun Young Kim, Young Ill Rho, Eun Suk Yang, Young Bong Park and Kyung Rye Moon
Department of Pediatrics, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea.
Abstract

PURPOSE

Constipation in childhood is a significant problem, however, understanding of its epidemiology has been limited in Korea. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of constipation in school-aged children, helping to manage and prevent it.

METHODS

This cross-sectional, descripsive observational prevalence study included children (2 grade, 1st and 6th grade) who were attending two elementary schools in Gwangju. The prevalence of constipation, associated symptoms, and risk factors were evaluated by questionnaire. A child was considered to be constipated when he or she defecated two or less times per week.

RESULTS

The prevalence of constipation was 15.4%. There is no significant difference between both sexes and grades. Of the causes of constipation, there was statistically significant difference in exercise deficiency, frequent intake of convenience food, long-time watching TV, unbalanced diet and enuresis history between constipation and normal group. Especially, long-time watching TV, exercise deficiency, and enuresis history were risk factors for development of constipation. Only 27.1% of children with constipation were treated by laxative and enema.

CONCLUSION

Even though the prevalence of constipation was high, more than half of them was not treated at all. We should endeavor to educate the children and their parents to prevent constipation by evaluating the feeding and behavioral habit completely, and treating them properly.

Keywords: Constipation; Risk factors