Epidemiology

Constipation in children is a common problem worldwide. High rates have been reported from community surveys in Brazil (28%), Hong Kong (28.8%),[4] and the US (23%),[5] but a systematic literature review determined the prevalence of childhood constipation to range from 0.7% to 26.9%.[6] In the US, childhood constipation accounts for approximately 3% of consultations in an average paediatric clinic, and constitutes about 30% of the workload of a paediatric gastroenterologist.[7] The prevalence of constipation in the US has been reported to be rising. A 50.7% increase in constipation-related emergency department visits in children aged 1 to 17 years was reported from 2006 to 2011. This age group also had the second-highest constipation-related emergency department visit rate in 2011.[8] Constipation was noted in 36.1% of Australian children aged 4.8 to 17.5 years with nocturnal enuresis;[9] it is not associated with allergy in Italian children.[10]

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