Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
DEL CIAMPO, Ieda Regina Lopes; GALVAO, Lívia Carvalho; DEL CIAMPO, Luíz Antônio and FERNANDES, Maria Inez Machado. Prevalence of chronic constipation in children at a primary health care unit. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.6, pp. 497-502. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572002000600010.
Objective: to study the frequency of chronic constipation in childhood at a Primary Health Care Unit and to observe its characteristics in this population. Methods: The sample consisted of 313 children aged between one and 10 years treated at the Centro de Saúde Escola, in the district of Tibério, in the town of Ribeirão Preto. Among these, 84 children with chronic constipation were selected. The chi-squared test was used to compare the groups of constipated and nonconstipated children (p = 0.01). Results: The prevalence of chronic constipation was 26.8%. In the group of chronic constipation, 85.7% of the children had hardened stools, 25% showed reduction in fecal mass, 17.9% had an interval between evacuations longer than 2 days (constipated children), 14.3% revealed fecal soiling and 21.4% presented blood in stools. Conclusion: The prevalence of chronic constipation was high and the interval between evacuations was as an important diagnostic criterion for the selection of constipated children.
Keywords : chronic constipation; child health care; bowel habit.