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Pediatr Res. 2008 Sep;64(3):308-11. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e31817995aa.

The impact of constipation on growth in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kweishan, Taoyuan 33305, Taiwan.


The observation on the impact of constipation on nutritional and growth status in healthy children was never reported. During a 4-y period, we evaluated the consequence of constipation on growth in children. The enrolled children were aged between 1 and 15 y with constipation. Medical response of constipation to treatment was evaluated by the scoring of constipation symptoms. The correlation of therapeutic effect of constipation with growth status at 12 wk and 24 wk was statistically evaluated. About 2426 children (1284 boys, 1142 girls) with a mean age of 7.31 +/- 3.65 (range 1.1-14.9) y were enrolled. After 12-wk treatment, significant increase of z-scores of height-for-age, weight-for-age, and body mass index-for-age were all found in patients with good medical responses (1377 cases) than in those with poor medical responses (1049 cases). The 1049 patients with poor medical response received advanced medications; significant increase of z-scores of height-for-age, weight-for-age, and body mass index were also found in these patients. A marked increase of appetite was significantly correlated with better gain on height and weight after treatment. We conclude that chronic constipation may retard growth status in children, and a long-term medication for constipation in children appears beneficial to their growth status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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