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Chronic Constipation & Diarrhea in Diabetics

Am J Gastroenterol; ePub 2018 Nov 8; Sommers, et al

Chronic diarrhea (CD) is significantly more prevalent in people with diabetes compared to those without, while chronic constipation (CC) is not, according to a new study. Analyses were performed using data from individuals in the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) dataset who completed the Bowel Health Questionnaire. Among the findings:

  • 661 persons with diabetes and 4,488 individuals without diabetes were identified.
  • Subjects with diabetes (25.8%) reported disordered bowel habits.
  • In unadjusted analysis, CD was more prevalent in those with diabetes than in those without diabetes (11.2% vs 6.0%).
  • However, the prevalence of CC was not significantly different between groups (14.6% vs 11.2%).
  • Diabetes remained associated with CD after adjusting for covariates.


Sommers T, Mitsuhashi S, Singh P, et al. Prevalence of chronic constipation and chronic diarrhea in diabetic individuals in the United States. [Published online ahead of print November 8, 2018]. Am J Gastroenterol. doi:10.1038/s41395-018-0418-8.