ADHD linked to defecation disorders in kids

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HealthDay News -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are significantly more likely to have constipation and fecal incontinence issues than children without ADHD, study findings indicate.

Connor McKeown, MD, from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study using the military health system database to examine the correlation of ADHD with functional constipation and fecal incontinence. Findings were published online in Pediatrics.

Data were included for 742,939 children aged 4 to 12 years of active-duty military personnel from October 2005 to September 2007. ADHD prevalence was 4.4%.

Compared to those without the disorder, there were significant increases in the prevalence of constipation (1.5% vs. 4.1%, respectively) and fecal incontinence (0.15% vs. 0.19%, respectively) in children with ADHD (P<0.001 for both).

Children with ADHD also had signficantly more doctor's visits for both constipation and fecal incontinence (adjusted incidence rate ratios, 3.39 and 7.74, respectively)

Compared to those without ADHD, children with ADHD had significantly more visits for both constipation and fecal incontinence (adjusted incidence rate ratios, 3.39 and 7.74, respectively).

Children with ADHD receiving medicinal therapy did not differ significantly from children with ADHD not receiving medicinal therapy on rates of constipation visits (P=0.57) or fecal incontinence visits (P=0.32). 

"Having a diagnosis of ADHD increases a child's likelihood of having constipation and fecal incontinence," the authors write. "Medical treatment of ADHD does not significantly increase or decrease visit rate for defecation disorders."

References

  1. McKeown C et al. Pediatrics. 2013; doi:10.1542/peds.2013-1580.

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