A 15-year study of more than 5,100 elderly women showed constipation lowers quality of life and longevity, researchers report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Only 25% of the women surveyed reported never or rarely having constipation, 20.9% had persistent constipation and 54.1% reported transient constipation. "In light of the enormous economic costs associated with constipation, it is a problem that needs to be further understood and better managed," the researchers write.

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