, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 461–476 | Cite as

The health-related quality of life and economic burden of constipation

  • Cheryl Dennison
  • Manishi Prasad
  • Andrew Lloyd
  • Samir K. Bhattacharyya
  • Ravinder Dhawan
  • Karin Coyne
Review Article


Constipation is a prevalent condition that disproportionately affects women and older adults and leads to self-medication and/or medical consultation. It occurs as a result of functional idiopathic causes or secondarily as a result of a variety of factors including dietary and exercise patterns, adverse effects of medication and disease processes. Constipation is often perceived to be a benign, easily treated condition with short-term treatment being relatively straightforward; however, chronic constipation is associated with mild complications that, left untreated, can develop into more serious bowel complaints (faecal impaction, incontinence and bowel perforations) with further implications for healthcare costs and the patient’s health-related quality of life (HR-QOL). This review summarises the evidence of the HR-QOL impact and economic burden of constipation on patients.

Relatively few studies have systematically explored the HR-QOL and economic impact of constipation; however, the existing evidence suggests that HR-QOL is lower in patients with constipation than in non-constipated individuals, and treatments for constipation improve HR-QOL. Additionally, constipation represents an economic burden for the patient and healthcare provider. Resource utilisation associated with the diagnosis and management of constipation is a significant cost driver, whereas constipation prevention programmes have demonstrated cost savings.


Constipation Lower Urinary Tract Symptom Nursing Home Resident Lactulose Chronic Constipation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported/funded by Pfizer Corporation.

Andrew Lloyd and Karin Coyne are paid consultants for MEDTAP and Cheryl Dennison is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. None of the authors has any conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheryl Dennison
    • 1
  • Manishi Prasad
    • 2
  • Andrew Lloyd
    • 3
  • Samir K. Bhattacharyya
    • 4
  • Ravinder Dhawan
    • 5
  • Karin Coyne
    • 2
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.MEDTAP International IncBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.MEDTAP International Inc.LondonUK
  4. 4.Amgen Inc.Thousand OaksUSA
  5. 5.Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Services, LLC, RaritanRaritanUSA

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