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23.05.2006 – 17:06

Boehringer Ingelheim

New Data Shed Light on the Global Incidence of Constipation

    Ingelheim, Germany (ots/PRNewswire)

    - Not for Distribution or Publication in the United States

    New omnibus data from the largest global survey due to be published, conducted on the epidemiology of constipation, were presented today at the Digestive Disease Week congress in Los Angeles. The survey, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, offers new insights into the incidence of constipation and shows that sufferers are not using the most effective treatments.

    The epidemiology survey, which explored duration and frequency of constipation in 13,879 participants from four continents, shows 12% of people worldwide suffer from self-defined constipation. This figure varies among different regions; people in the Americas and Asia Pacific suffer twice as much as their European counterparts, where the incidence of constipation is lowest (Americas and Asia Pacific mean 17.3% -v- European mean 8.75%).[1]

    The survey also highlights that a quarter of people suffering from constipation do nothing to alleviate their symptoms; they would rather wait in the hope that it may go away of its own accord. Professor Scarpignato, one of the lead authors of the survey, commented, "Unfounded concerns and misguided beliefs often prevent constipation sufferers from using the best available treatments, such as contact laxatives. If they did use a contact laxative, like Dulcolax(R), they would be selecting a safe and effective treatment, to relieve their condition."

    Of those constipation sufferers who treat their condition, less than a third of them actually use laxatives, despite the fact that a recently published review showed that laxatives are a safe and effective treatment.[2] In Asia Pacific, which has one of the highest frequencies of constipation (17%), laxative use is lowest, with less than two in 10 sufferers treating symptoms effectively with a laxative. Even in the Americas, where laxative treatment is highest, still less than four in 10 sufferers use laxative treatments to alleviate their constipation.[1]

    Professor Wald, the lead author of the survey, stated, "Sufferers continue to be highly influenced and misguided by myths surrounding constipation and it is critical to correct and overcome these mistaken beliefs. This survey reveals that on average, 40% of sufferers attempt to treat their constipation by changing their nutrition, despite extensive research showing that in fact diet and lifestyle are not necessarily to blame for the occurrence of constipation and increasing fluid and fibre intake will not definitely provide effective relief from the condition."

    Professor Wald continued, "The new evidence from the survey has revealed that there is still a considerable unmet need in the treatment of constipation. It is our responsibility to make people aware of, and to offer, the best solutions for constipation, by publicising the facts and correcting these misunderstandings."

    Dulcolax(R) (bisacodyl or sodium picosulphate), offers one such highly effective and safe solution. It is a widely available contact laxative licensed for the treatment of constipation and is commonly used by millions of people worldwide. The active ingredients in Dulcolax(R) (bisacodyl or sodium picosulphate) act only where they are needed, in the colon,[3-18] and stimulate the natural movements of the bowels to alleviate the symptoms of constipation. Dulcolax(R) is clinically proven to be a safe[16,17,19,20] and effective treatment for constipation[20-23] even over the long-term.[24]

    The epidemiology survey has led to further investigations, specifically of frequent constipation sufferers (those who have suffered for at least two years and at least once every two to three months), which aims to provide a complete and full picture of this group. Results from this pioneering investigation are expected to be presented at the 14th United European Gastroenterology Week in Berlin, Germany from 21-25 October 2006.

    Notes to Editors

    Digestive Disease Week (DDW)

    DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, DDW takes place May 20-25, 2006, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The meeting showcases approximately 5,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology. For more information on DDW, visit

    Boehringer Ingelheim

    The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and almost 37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

    In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 9.5 billion euro while spending almost one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

    The Consumer Health Care business is one of the core businesses of the Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation and strives to serve customers worldwide with top-quality pharmaceuticals for self-medication and is widely known for its products such as: Pharmaton(R), Dulcolax(R), Bisolvon(R), Mucosolvan(R), Buscopan(R), Antistax(R) and Mucoangin(R).

    Boehringer Ingelheim Consumer Healthcare is ranked the 8th largest supplier of self-medication products. For more information, visit

ots Originaltext: Boehringer Ingelheim
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For any further information, and details of references please
contact: Ute E. Schmidt, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, 55216 Ingelheim,
Germany, Tel. +49-(0)-6132-77-97296, Fax +49-(0)-6132-77-6601

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