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Cir Cir. 2013 May-Jun;81(3):214-20.

[Food intake, nutritional status and physical activity between elderly with and without chronic constipation. A comparative study].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Departamento de Investigación, Instituto de Salud Pública del Estado de Guanajuato, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, México.


in English, Spanish


Constipation is one of the most frequently found gastrointestinal problems in the elderly as aging modifies their food intake, nutritional status and physical activity, which are associated factors in the development of constipation.


To compare food intake, nutritional status and physical activity between elderly subjects with or without chronic constipation.


The study included a total of 140 subjects who were divided in two groups according to the presence or absence of constipation using the Rome III criteria. Diet intake was obtained through a 3-day dietary record (2 days during the week and one on Saturday or Sunday). Height, weight, arm circumference, and triceps skinfold thickness were measured and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was applied to all participants.


Fiber and water intake were not statistically different between both groups. Constipated participants showed significantly less variety and less inclusion of all food groups in their diets compared to their non-constipated counterparts (p < 0.02; p < 0.03). Mean nutritional status was overweight and it didn't differ from each studied group (p= 0.49). Higher levels of physical activity were found in non-constipated subjects (1664 vs 1049 MET, p= 0.004).


This study indicates that lower physical activity levels as well as an incomplete and less varied diet are associated to constipation in the elderly. Water and fibre intake do not seem to be contributing to constipation.


Constipation; actividad física; adulto mayor; diet; dieta; elderly; estado nutricio; estreñimiento; nutritional status; physical activity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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