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Functional constipation in the general population of Cotonou: influence of defecatory habits and physical activity


Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Open Access
Kpossou AR,<sup>1</sup> Sokpon CNM,<sup>1</sup> Azandjeme C,<sup>2</sup> Cataria H,<sup>1</sup> Vignon RK,<sup>1</sup> Diallo K,<sup>3</sup> Choki AB,<sup>4</sup> Spatzierer O,<sup>5</sup> Séhonou J<sup>1</sup>

Abstract

Introduction: Constipation is a relatively common symptom worldwide. In its management, advice on physical activity and defecatory habits play a significant role. This work aimed to study the influence of defecatory habits and physical activity in the occurrence of constipation in the general population of Cotonou in the Republic of Benin.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive and analytical study conducted in 2017 in 7 districts of the commune of Cotonou, using cluster sampling. Constipation was defined according to Rome IV criteria. Defecatory habits of participants were collected. Physical activity was assessed using the Marshall questionnaire.
Results: A total of 1058 participants were included, including 574 men (sex ratio of 1.2), with an average age of 29.3 ± 14.7 years [15-92 years]. Constipation was functional in 256 cases (24.2%). Defecatory habits associated with functional constipation were: squatting during defecation (p=0.015), not going to the toilet as soon as needed (p<0.001), not systematically going to the toilet in the morning (p=0.033). Not engaging in moderate physical activity was also a factor associated with constipation (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Defecatory habits appear to be associated with the onset of constipation in this Cotonou study. Moderate physical activity appears to protect against constipation in the population studied.

Keywords

Functional constipation, defecatory habits, physical activity, Cotonou

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