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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


GONZALEZ CANETE, Natalia; PENA D'ARDAILLON, Francisca; CANDIA JOHNS, Priscila  and  DURAN AGUERO, Samuel. Relationship between sleep and constipation in the elderly chileans. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.1, pp.357-362. ISSN 1699-5198.

Background: There is scarce information about constipation in elderly subjects. Among the variety of factors causing constipation, the sleeping hours are a factor usually not taken into account. Objectives: To determine the association between hours of sleep during the week and weekend, with constipation in older adults. Design: Sleep quality, stool consistency, physical activity (PA) and dietary fiber intake was assessed using various validated surveys in 424 healthy autonomous elderly men and women, living in Santiago, Chile. Results: Half of the participants reported having abnormal stools (constipation and diarrhea). Subjects who had constipation had lower PA and greater difficulty falling asleep than subjects with normal bowel movements. The elderly participants with constipation had a higher amount of sleep during the week and weekend, that subjects with normal bowel movements (9.4 ± 1.6 vs 8.8 ± 1.8 hours, p = 0.013). The constipated subjects slept significantly more than those with normal evacuation (9.7 ± 1.5 vs 9.2 ± 1.8, p = 0.024). No differences in the nutritional status and fiber intake among patients with different consistencies were found. Conclusions: There is an association between sleep and the consistency of the stools in elderly patients. It would be interesting to evaluate whether long-term improvement of these factors could have a positive impact on the other.

Keywords : Elderly; Constipation; Sleep.

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