When is constipation defined as chronic?

Updated: Jul 05, 2019
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Constipation is frequently chronic, can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life, and may be associated with significant health care costs. It is considered chronic if it is present for at least 12 weeks (in total, not necessarily consecutively) during the previous year. Chronic constipation may be associated with psychological disturbances, and the reverse is true as well. However, these issues are beyond the scope of this article.


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