Chronic constipation (CC) is a common condition but its concurrent conditions are not well characterized. We measured the prevalence and risk of developing 15 pre–specified concurrent conditions in patients with CC.
Retrospective cohort study using the Medicaid database of California, utilizing ICD-9 codes for detection of cases (CC), controls (patients with GERD) and concurrent conditions. Study period was 01/01/1995 to 06/30/2005. Index date was the date 3 months before the first physician visit for CC. Pre-index time (12 months) was compared to post-index time (12 months) to assess the association of every concurrent condition within each cohort. To account for ascertainment bias, an adjusted odds ratio was calculated by comparing the odds ratio for every concurrent condition in the CC cohort to that in the GERD cohort.
147,595 patients with CC (mean age 54.2 years; 69.7% women; 36.2% white) and 142,086 patients with GERD (mean age 56.3 years; 65.3% women; 41.6% white) were evaluated. The most prevalent concurrent conditions with CC were hemorrhoids (7.6%), diverticular disease (5.9%), ano–rectal hemorrhage (4.7%), irritable bowel syndrome (3.5%) and fecal impaction (2%). When adjusted for ascertainment bias, the most notable associations with CC were Hirschsprung's disease, fecal impaction and ano-rectal conditions such as fissure, fistula, hemorrhage and ulcers.
Chronic constipation is associated with several concurrent conditions of variable risk and prevalence. To reduce the overall burden of CC, these concurrent conditions need to be addressed.