Document Detail

Evaluation of bowel function and fecal continence in 594 finnish individuals aged 4 to 26 years.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22595847     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
BACKGROUND: : Limited information exists on what constitutes normal bowel function in children and adolescents. This information is essential for determining outcomes of surgery for anorectal malformations and other colonic disorders.
OBJECTIVE: : The aim of this study was to define bowel function and fecal continence in a large sample of individuals aged 4 to 26 years.
DESIGN: : This investigation is a cross-sectional cohort study.
SETTINGS: : Five hundred ninety-four individuals aged 4 to 26 years were randomly selected from the population register of Finland. Participants anonymously answered a previously validated 7-item postal questionnaire on bowel function.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: : The primary outcomes measured were bowel function score, fecal continence, stooling frequency, constipation, and social problems in relation to bowel function
RESULTS: : Recognition of the need to defecate was well established by age 4, but the ability to hold back defecation improved with age. Fecal accidents decreased from 11% in preschool children to 2% by 13 to 17 years (p = 0.02). Fecal staining of underwear was common (33%); the prevalence of soiling decreased with age. Stooling frequency was normal in 92%. Constipation was more common in females. Problems restricting social life in relation to bowel function were rare (0.5%).
CONCLUSIONS: : The fine-tuning of fecal continence continues to develop during childhood. Minor soiling is common in healthy individuals. Because of the changes with age, the evaluation of functional outcomes in patients who have undergone surgical treatment of anorectal malformations or other colonic disorders should include comparison with data from age-matched controls.
Kristiina Kyrklund; Antti Koivusalo; Risto J Rintala; Mikko P Pakarinen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Diseases of the colon and rectum     Volume:  55     ISSN:  1530-0358     ISO Abbreviation:  Dis. Colon Rectum     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-05-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372764     Medline TA:  Dis Colon Rectum     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  671-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Paediatric Surgery, University of Helsinki, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Helsinki, Finland.
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