Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 8, pp 1471–1477 | Cite as

A Population-Based Study on Bowel Habits in a Korean Community: Prevalence of Functional Constipation and Self-Reported Constipation

  • Dae Won Jun
  • Ho Yong Park
  • Oh Young Lee
  • Hang Lak Lee
  • Byung Chul Yoon
  • Ho Soon Choi
  • Joon Soo Hahm
  • Min Ho Lee
  • Dong Hoo Lee
  • Choon Suhk Kee
Original Paper


Most studies of bowel habits have been conducted in Western countries. This study was conducted to estimate the epidemiology of constipation and the discrepancy between self-reported constipation and bowel habits in Koreans. Telephone interviews regarding bowel habits were conducted with a total of 1029 individuals in Korea, 15 years of age or older. Subjects were given a questionnaire which asked about bowel symptoms, sociodemographic associations, laxative use, and physician visits. Of all subjects 95.6% had a defecation frequency of between three per week and three per day. The prevalence was 16.5% for self-reported constipation, 9.2% for functional constipation (FC), and 3.9% for constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C). Of subjects’ self-reporting constipation, proportions of FC and IBS-C were 21.8% and 23.5%, respectively. Of subjects excluding self-reported constipation, the proportion of FC was 6.8%. Prevalences of self-reported constipation and IBS-C were higher in females than in males (P < 0.001). Of subjects’ self-reporting constipation, 8.2% used laxatives. We conclude that constipation is a common problem in the general Korean population.


Constipation Prevalence Self-reported constipation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science&#x002B;Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dae Won Jun
    • 1
  • Ho Yong Park
    • 1
  • Oh Young Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hang Lak Lee
    • 1
  • Byung Chul Yoon
    • 1
  • Ho Soon Choi
    • 1
  • Joon Soo Hahm
    • 1
  • Min Ho Lee
    • 1
  • Dong Hoo Lee
    • 1
  • Choon Suhk Kee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineGastroenterology Division, Hanyang University HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineGastroenterology Division, Hanyang University HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea

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