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Guess What Most Americans Don't Want to Talk About (Hint: It's Not Sex!)

- Four Million Americans Suffer in Silence ... From Constipation(1): From Connecticut to California, the United States is a Constipation Nation! -

NEW YORK, May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- While it might not be surprising to learn that most Americans are not comfortable talking about constipation, the results of a new survey show just how prevalent and uncomfortable discussing the topic really is: In fact, while more than one-half of adults surveyed suffer from occasional constipation, the vast majority of them would rather avoid discussing it, which often keeps them from getting relief. And, if constipation lasts for more than a week, it may be a sign of something more serious, so people should really talk to their doctor about it.

A recent survey, conducted by Russell Research for Purdue Products L.P., whose products include Senokot(R) Tablets and Colace(R) Capsules, asked 1,017 adults their thoughts about constipation and its treatments. The company wanted to hear first-hand from consumers how they viewed the significance of constipation and their overall digestive health.

Men vs. Women

According to the survey, 66% of females and 51% of males report having constipation at some point. Females said they experience constipation 19 times a year, compared to the 11 times per year reported by men. About one in five females (20%) indicate they suffer from constipation once a week or more.

Oh the Embarrassment

But, despite these high numbers, 77% of folks would rather talk about religion, 72% cite politics and 58% said they'd rather discuss sex than constipation!

Suffering in Silence...

According to the survey, less than half (47%) of respondents say they are comfortable discussing constipation. Folks who suffer from constipation are significantly less likely (36%) to feel comfortable discussing their condition. Nearly two-thirds of females (63%) and 55% of males say it's embarrassing to discuss constipation with others.

But Wanting to Take Action

"While we know that most Americans suffer from constipation at some time in their life, we are encouraged to learn that the survey respondents believe the condition is something they should address," states Charlene Bailey, Director, Product Management, Purdue Products L.P. "Seventy eight (78%) of consumers said it's important to manage their digestive health. But, these folks are not getting the help they need, which is a shame, as there are treatment options that are very effective, convenient and can help people get comfortable relief."

No Straining Necessary...There is Help

Survey respondents recognize the signs of constipation: More than three in five adults (64%) believe straining is a sign of occasional constipation, with females (70%) significantly more likely than males (55%) providing this response. Overall, females (92%) and constipation sufferers (97%) are significantly more likely than males (83%) and non-sufferers (75%) to know one or more signs of constipation.

According to Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN, "In these cases, I recommend the comfortable relief of a stool softener, such as Colace(R) Capsules, which can be used to treat occasional constipation that may be associated with certain medical conditions."

We are a Constipation Nation

Constipation also can be caused by everyday stress, travel, overall poor dietary habits and lack of exercise. "Despite attempts to eat a diet rich in fiber and maintain a lifestyle that reduces the likelihood of constipation, these efforts often aren't enough," explains Stokes.

Eighty six percent of adults surveyed claim they try to reduce stress in their personal and professional lives, including eating a balanced diet (70% of males and 75% of women), getting regular checkups (72% of adults). Of those adults who said they suffer from constipation, many are increasing fiber intake (70% of females and 57% of males), and water consumption (69% of females and 55% of males).

"Along with 'life events,' occasional constipation can be caused by prescription medications, which 77% of our survey respondents age 65 and older experience," says Bailey. "For occasional constipation that may be associated with lifestyle changes or even dietary habits, we have a family of Senokot(R) Laxative Tablets. Senokot Products can provide effective yet gentle, overnight relief from occasional constipation. People don't have to let constipation get in the way of living their life...there are options."

Survey methodology

Russell Research screened for survey participants who were 40% male/60% female, age 35 or older, from diverse demographic US regions and balanced by age and ethnicity. The survey was conducted online, with a survey sample drawn from the Survey Sampling International's SurveySpot online consumer panel. Invitations were emailed to potential respondents targeted by gender and age. Interviews were conducted from March 17-24, 2009.

The Purdue Products L.P. Line of Laxatives

Senokot(R) Tablets and Colace(R) Capsules have been recommended by doctors and pharmacists for more than 50 years for effective, gentle and safe relief from occasional constipation. Colace(R) Capsules, the #1 recommended stool softener brand by doctors and pharmacists, relieves occasional constipation that may be associated with certain medical conditions. Senokot(R) Tablets contain the natural vegetable laxative ingredient proven effective in over 50 clinical studies. Senokot Tablets provide gentle, yet effective relief for occasional constipation associated with diet or lifestyle. The Purdue laxative portfolio includes: Colace(R) Capsules, Peri-Colace(R) Tablets, Senokot(R) Tablets, Senokot-S(R) Tablets and SenokotXTRA(R) Tablets. The Purdue laxative portfolio is dedicated to providing customers with specific solutions to the various types of occasional constipation that can occur as a part of everyday life.

(1) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2007). National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House: Constipation. Retrieved January 26, 2009, from

    Press Contact:
    Vicky Toporovsky
    Pollock Communications

SOURCE Purdue Products L.P.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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