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Acta Paediatr. 2018 Jan;107(1):151-155. doi: 10.1111/apa.14067. Epub 2017 Sep 27.

Physical activity may decrease the likelihood of children developing constipation.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland.
2
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Landspitali-University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland.
3
Centre of Public Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland.
4
Department of Gastroenterology, Landspitali-University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland.

Abstract

AIM:

Childhood constipation is common. We evaluated children diagnosed with constipation, who were referred to an Icelandic paediatric emergency department, and determined the effect of lifestyle factors on its aetiology.

METHODS:

The parents of children who were diagnosed with constipation and participated in a phase IIB clinical trial on laxative suppositories answered an online questionnaire about their children's lifestyle and constipation in March-April 2013. The parents of nonconstipated children that visited the paediatric department of Landspitali University Hospital or an Icelandic outpatient clinic answered the same questionnaire.

RESULTS:

We analysed responses regarding 190 children aged one year to 18 years: 60 with constipation and 130 without. We found that 40% of the constipated children had recurrent symptoms, 27% had to seek medical attention more than once and 33% received medication per rectum. The 47 of 130 control group subjects aged 10-18 were much more likely to exercise more than three times a week (72%) and for more than a hour (62%) than the 26 of 60 constipated children of the same age (42% and 35%, respectively).

CONCLUSION:

Constipation risk factors varied with age and many children diagnosed with constipation had recurrent symptoms. Physical activity may affect the likelihood of developing constipation in older children.

KEYWORDS:

Constipation; Diet; Lifestyle; Outcome; Physical activity

PMID:
28898506
DOI:
10.1111/apa.14067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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