Published online Oct 21, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i39.8806
Peer-review started: July 28, 2016
First decision: August 15, 2016
Revised: August 19, 2016
Accepted: September 12, 2016
Article in press: September 12, 2016
Published online: October 21, 2016
To investigate correlations between diet and prevalence of constipation among elderly people in Beijing.
A total of 2776 (≥ 60 years) were selected in Beijing region for investigation. Data regarding constipation and diet habits was collected via hierarchical status, segmentation and random cluster sampling. Investigation included constipation-related demographic indicators and diet habits. Door-to-door questionnaires and surveys included daily staple food intakes, frequency of fish, egg, fruits and vegetables consumption. Constipation was defined according to the China Chronic Constipation Diagnosis and Treatment Guideline (2013), with the following constipation judgment indicators: decreased defecation frequency, dry and hard stool, and difficulty in defecation.
The prevalence of constipation among elderly people in Beijing region was 13%. There was a positive correlation between prevalence of constipation and age, but negative correlations between prevalence of constipation and staple food, fish and dietary fibres (fruits and vegetables) intakes. These differences were all statistically significant.
The prevalence of elderly constipation in Beijing region is closely related to diet habits, and is significantly decreased by high staple foods intake, fish eating and high dietary fibres (fruits and vegetables) consumption.
Core tip: Because of high prevalence of constipation among elderly people, older populations are more susceptible to constipation related side effects. Many studies have concluded the significance of certain foods and dietary modification in treating constipation prior to any medical interventions. Benefits of frequent fish, dietary fibres consumption and large staple food intakes in alleviating symptoms of constipation were demonstrated in this study. Dietary modification should be promoted and emphasized as first line treatment to postpone or avoid drug use.