Association Between Constipation and Frailty Components in Patients Undergoing Late Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation

Miho Nishitani-Yokoyama, Kazunori Shimada, Miki Yamada, Akio Honzawa, Mitsuhiro Kunimoto, Yurina Sugita, Kei Fujiwara, Tomomi Matsubara, Rie Matsumori, Abidan Abulimiti, Akie Shimada, Taira Yamamoto, Tohru Asai, Atsushi Amano, Masakazu Saitoh, Tomoyuki Morisawa, Tetsuya Takahashi, Hiroyuki Daida, Tohru Minamino


Background: The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare reported that the overall constipation complaint rates among men and women are 2.5% and 4.6%, respectively. To evaluate the impact of constipation on patients with cardiovascular diseases, we investigated the association between constipation and frailty components in patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation (CR).

Methods: We enrolled 102 consecutive patients undergoing late phase II CR (mean age: 62.7 ± 13.4 years; 68 (67%) were men). We investigated clinical characteristics, observed defecation status and evaluated frailty components assessed by the Kihon checklist. According to the Clinical Guidelines for Chronic Constipation, the subjects were divided into constipation and non-constipation groups.

Results: Constipation was noted in 33 patients (32%). Interestingly, the constipation complaint rate was only 15%. Age was significantly higher in the constipation group than in the non-constipation group; however, no differences in sex, underlying diseases and prevalence rates of coronary risk factors were observed between the two groups. Body mass index, hemoglobin level, albumin level and estimated glomerular filtration rate were significantly lower in the constipation group than in the non-constipation group. The prevalence of frailty was significantly higher in the constipation group than in the non-constipation group. Physical ability, seclusion and depression scores were significantly higher in the constipation group than the non-constipation group.

Conclusions: Constipation was associated with physical function and depression score as components of frailty in patients undergoing CR.

Cardiol Res. 2021;12(3):169-176


Constipation; Defecation; Cardiovascular disease; Frailty; Cardiac rehabilitation

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