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Constipation on rise among teens

The number of people suffering from constipation is on a steep rise, the National Health Insurance Corporation said Monday.

According to its research on insurance payments between 2002 and 2009, 1.428 million people were treated for constipation in 2009, which is about a 50 percent jump from 2002’s 927,000.

Women outnumbered men 800,000 to 630,000 and teenagers showed a significant increase of 7.65 percent.

Dr. Cho Yong-seok of the Ilsan Hospital said constipation is one of the most naturally detected symptoms of aging. “As we are heading to an aging society, we are seeing more patients,” he said.

He also noted that younger people ate too much junk food while avoiding vegetables and fresh-cooked foods, which reduces fiber intake, thus contributing to the growing number of young patients. “Abundant exercise and eating lots of vegetables and drinking good water will help ease the trouble,” he said.

(baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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