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Constipation in Australian Women: Prevalence and Associated Factors

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A postal health survey was completed by 14 761 young women (aged 18–23 years), 14 070 middle-aged women (45–50 years) and 12 893 older women (70–75 years). The prevalence of constipation was 14.1% (CI 13.5–14.7) in young women, 26.6% (CI 25.9–27.4) in middle-aged women, and 27% (CI 26.9–28.5) in the older women. The prevalence of hemorrhoids was 3.2% (CI 2.9–3.4 young), 17.7% (CI 17.1–18.4 middle-aged) and 18.3% (CI 17.6–19.0 older). In the middle-aged and older women, those who reported previous gynecologic surgery were between 18% and 63% more likely to report constipation; in the younger cohort, women with one or two children were also more likely to report constipation (adjusted OR 1.43–1.46). One-third of the young women and half the middle-aged and older women had sought help for constipation; the majority indicated that they were satisfied with the help available to them.

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Chiarelli, P., Brown, W. & McElduff, P. Constipation in Australian Women: Prevalence and Associated Factors . Int Urogynecol J 11, 71–78 (2000).

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