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Prevalence and risk factors for functional constipation in adolescents.

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eMediNexus    13 February 2018

The goal of a recent study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for functional constipation (FC) in adolescents. This cross-sectional study selected adolescents in the age-group of 10-18 years, from 11 secondary schools in the southern part of Nigeria. Each participant completed a validated self-administered questionnaire based on the Rome III criteria, designed to diagnose FC and its predisposing factors. The mean age of the participants was 14.6±2.0 years with 50% being boys. The findings disclosed that FC was present in 27% of these children with no difference in prevalence between sexes. Meanwhile, it was noted that the prevalence of FC was 29% in urban areas and 26% in the rural areas. Moreover, the condition was significantly associated with low social class. Furthermore, the exposure to stressful life events at home and in school did not predispose these adolescents to develop FC. From the results, it was inferred that FC is a significant health problem among Nigerian adolescents and this condition is associated with low social class.

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