12% of people globally suffer from constipation
() - June 22, 2006 - 12:00am
Twelve percent of people worldwide suffer from constipation, according to an epidemiology survey covering 13,879 participants from four continents.

In the Philippines, every fourth person, or 24 percent of the population, suffers from constipation.

The new data were presented at the recently Digestive Week Congress in Los Angeles, California.

People in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific suffer twice as much as their European counterparts, where the incidence is lowest.

The survey, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, offers new insights into the incidence of constipation and shows that sufferers are not using the most effective treatments.

A quarter of people suffering from constipation do nothing to alleviate their symptoms. They would rather wait, hoping it may go away on its own accord.

In the Philippines, as high as 84 percent of sufferers do not treat it or use alternative methods of treatment.

"Unfounded concerns and misguided beliefs often prevent them from using the best available treatments such as contact laxatives," said Professor Scarpignto, one of the survey’s lead authors.

"If they did use a contact laxative, like dulcolax, they would be selecting a safe and effective treatment to relieve their condition," Scarpignto added.

Less than a third of those treating their condition actually use laxatives despite a recently published review showing that laxatives are a safe and effective treatment.

In the Asia-Pacific, which accounts for one of the highest frequencies of constipation, laxative use is the lowest with less than two in 10 sufferers treating symptoms effectively with a laxative.

Even in the Americas, where laxative treatment is highest, still less than four in 10 sufferers use laxatives to alleviate their constipation.

"Sufferers continue to be highly influenced and misguided by myths surrounding constipation and it is critical to correct and overcome these mistaken beliefs," said Professor Wald, the survey’s lead author.

"On average, 40 percent attempt to treat constipation by changing their nutrition, despite extensive research showing that in fact diet and lifestyle are not necessarily to blame for constipation. Increasing fluid and fiber intake will not definitely provide effective relief," Wald said.

Dulcolax, the leading laxative in the Philippines, is a contact laxative that offers one such highly effective and safe solution for the treatment of constipation.

Its active ingredients stimulate the natural movements of the bowels. It is also clinically proven to be safe and effective even over the long-term.

Further investigations are being conducted for a complete and full picture of sufferers, particularly of frequent constipation sufferers or those who have suffered for at least two years and at least once every two to three months.

The results of these pioneering surveys are expected to be presented at the 14th United European Gastroenterology Week in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 21-25.

AMERICAS AND THE ASIA-PACIFIC BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM CONSTIPATION DIGESTIVE WEEK CONGRESS IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC IN THE PHILIPPINES LOS ANGELES PROFESSOR SCARPIGNTO PROFESSOR WALD SUFFERERS
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