Risk factors for chronic constipation and a possible role of analgesics

J. Y. Chang, G. Richard Locke, C. D. Schleck, A. R. Zinsmeister, N. J. Talley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Constipation has an estimated prevalence of 15% in the general population. However, the etiopathogenesis of this condition remains relatively obscure. This study sought to identify potentially novel risk factors for chronic constipation. A valid self-report questionnaire was mailed to an age- and gender-stratified random sample of Olmsted County, Minnesota residents aged 30-64 years. A logistic regression model that adjusted for age, gender and somatic symptom score (SSC) was used to identify factors associated with chronic constipation. People reporting symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were excluded. Of the 892 eligible subjects, 653 (73%) returned the survey. Among the 523 subjects not reporting IBS symptoms, chronic constipation was reported by 93 (18%) of the respondents. Chronic constipation was significantly associated with use of acetaminophen [≥7 tablets per week, OR = 2.7 (1.1-6.6)]; aspirin [OR = 1.7 (1.0-2.7)]; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [OR = 1.8 (1.1-3.0)]; and SSC. No association was detected for age, gender, body mass index, marital status, smoking, alcohol, coffee, education level, food allergy, exposure to pets, stress, emotional support, or water supply. Chronic constipation is associated with use of acetaminophen, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The explanation of these associations requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-911
Number of pages7
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007


  • Acetaminophen
  • Analgesics
  • Constipation
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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