24.02.2023 | review article
Global prevalence of constipation in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Erschienen in: Wiener klinische WochenschriftEinloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
Background and objective
Constipation is one of the most common functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract in older adults. To date, no systematic review or previous meta-analysis has estimated the global prevalence of constipation in older adults. The prevalence of this disorder has been reported differently in different studies; therefore, this study aims to systematically review the publications and to perform a meta-analysis of the prevalence of constipation in older adults.
The electronic databases PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect were systematically searched for studies reporting the prevalence of constipation in older adults up to February 2022. To perform the analysis, the random effects model was used, and heterogeneity was assessed by Cochran’s Q test and expressed as I2.
Out of 5341 evaluated publications, 36 met the eligibility criteria. These studies included 58,405 older adults aged 60–93 years. The overall prevalence of constipation in older adults was 18.9% (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 14.7–23.9%). The prevalence of constipation in older adults according to Rome II criteria was 16.2% (95% CI: 6.8–33.7), based on Rome III criteria was 19.2% (95% CI: 12.6-28.1), and based on Rome IV criteria was 10.3% (95% CI: 5.8–17.7). The highest prevalence of constipation was found in older adults in Africa at 32.3% (95% CI: 21.5–45.4), and the lowest in Asia at 13.6% (95% CI: 9.1–19.9). Concerning diagnostic tools, the highest prevalence of constipation was found if a self-reporting tool was applied with a value of 19.7% (95% CI: 15.8–24.3).
The results suggest that health policymakers should pay more attention to the prevention of constipation in older adults, including raising public awareness to the importance of nutrition and diet and physical activity in older adults.