Prevalence of Functional Defecation Disorders in Children.


eMediNexus    25 July 2018

A new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics systematically reviewed literature on the epidemiology of functional constipation and functional non-retentive fecal incontinence (FNRFI) in children and assessed the geographical, age, and sex distribution of functional constipation and FNRFI, and also evaluated associated factors. This study entailed a search from The Cochrane Library, PubMed, and Embase databases from 2006 until September 2017. Overall, 37 prospective studies of population-based samples on the prevalence of functional constipation or FNRFI according to the Rome III/IV criteria in children, 0-18 years of age, published in full manuscript form were included. The findings showed that the prevalence of functional constipation ranged from 0.5-32.2%, with a pooled prevalence of 9.5%. The prevalence of FRNFI ranged from 0.0-1.8%, with a pooled prevalence of 0.4%. The prevalence of functional constipation was 8.6% in boys and 8.9% in girls. Meanwhile, geographical location, dietary habits, and exposure to stressful life events were reported to be associated with the prevalence of functional constipation. On the other hand, data on FNRFI were scarce and no associated factors were identified. Hence, it was concluded that functional constipation is common in childhood and is associated with geographical location, lifestyle factors, and stressful life events, while FNRFI is rare.

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