What is the worldwide prevalence of constipation?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Prevalence of self-reported constipation varies substantially because of differences among ethnic groups in how constipation is perceived. In North America alone, chronic constipation affects approximately 63 million people. Worldwide, approximately 12% of people suffer from self-defined constipation; people in the Americas and the Asian Pacific suffer twice as much as their European counterparts.

A meta-analysis of patients in Europe and Oceania cited prevalence rates as high as 81%, with a general incidence of approximately 17%. Female sex, age, and educational class were strongly associated with the prevalence of constipation. [13]

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