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Chitkara, D. K.1; De Schepper, H.1; Rucker, M.1; Weaver, A. L.2; Katusic, S.2; Locke, G. R.1; Talley, N. J.1

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: June 2004 - Volume 39 - Issue - p S16-S17
ABSTRACTS: Oral Presentation Abstracts

1Gastroenterology,2Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, United States

Submitted by:

Introduction: Constipation is a common complaint of childhood. However, little is known about the epidemiology of this disorder or if risk factors present at birth influence this presentation. Aims: 1. To estimate the incidence of constipation in a population based birth cohort from birth to 5 years. 2. To evaluate if biologic or socioeconomic risk factors determined at birth are associated with the presentation of constipation in children.

Methods: A birth cohort of all children born between 1976 and 1982 to mothers who were residents of Rochester, MN, and who remained in the community until age 5 years (N=5718) was considered for this study. Subjects who had not denied research authorization were utilized (N=5506). Biologic (low birth weight, prematurity, multiple births, mother age <21 yo), and socioeconomic (single parent, maternal education, amount of prenatal care) risk factors were obtained from computerized state birth certificate records. Utilizing the combined medical index of the Rochester Epidemiology Project, diagnostic codes for constipation (including functional constipation, fecal retention, encopresis, but excluding Hirschsprung’s disease or identified organic gastrointestinal disorders) for the birth cohort members were identified. The medical records were reviewed to determine the date of presentation, number of medical visits, and the frequency and duration of symptoms. In addition, a group of age and gender matched controls (1:2) from the same birth cohort who did not have an identified diagnostic code were utilized for comparison of risk factors.

Results: Of the 5506 birth cohort members, 158 had a medical visit for constipation before the age of 5. The sex-specific incidence for AP by age 5 years per 1000 person-years of observation was 5.4 (95% CI, 4.1–6.6) for girls, 6.3 for boys (95% CI, 5.0–7.6), and 5.8 (95% CI, 4.9–6.7) overall. The age-specific incidences were similar for girls and boys. There was no evidence to suggest that either biologic or socioeconomic risk factors influenced the presentation for constipation, although the factors are rare.

Table 1

Table 1

Conclusion: This is the first examination of constipation in children using a population based birth cohort.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.