Dietary habits in Greek children with functional constipation based on Rome III criteria: a school-based, cross-sectional multivariate analysis

Authors Giorgos L. Chouliaras, Panagiotis Krepis, Ilias Bouzios, Aglaia Zellos, George Chrousos, Eleftheria Roma-Giannikou.


Background Functional constipation (FC) is the most common gastrointestinal disorder of childhood and has a multifactorial etiology. We aimed to assess dietary habits in Greek children with FC compared to the general population (control group, CG).

Methods This was a subgroup analysis of a school-based, cross-sectional study carried out in children 6-18 years of age, between January and June 2014, using the Rome III criteria for the diagnosis of FC. Dietary parameters, as well as socioeconomic and demographic data and their association with the likelihood of FC, were analyzed through multivariate logistic regression analysis and expressed as odds ratios (OR).

Results A total of 1439 children (1218 CG, 221 FC) were included in the analysis. The final model showed that consumption of was the only dietary parameter significantly related to FC; higher frequency of consumption was inversely related to the likelihood of FC (OR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.96, 0.99, P=0.048). Significant socioeconomic confounders with a positive association with FC were: parental educational level, victimization, physical activity and number of adults at home.

Conclusions Increased frequency of fiber consumption is significantly associated with higher odds of FC irrespective of socioeconomic background and lifestyle parameters. Interventional studies are required to validate these cross-sectional observations.

Keywords Constipation, diet, population study, children, ROME-III

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (4): 528-534

Original Articles