Researchers have stated that Men who suffer from constipation are more likely to get diagnosed with the progressive brain disease Parkinson's some have suggested that the disease may have some effect on the function of the gut long before it manifests itself elsewhere.
Dr Robert Abbott, who led the research, said: "It could help us more effectively identify people with early or suspected disease or people at high risk of developing the disease in the future." The large study, part of the Honolulu Heart Program, looked at 5,324 patients aged between 50 and 80 who were followed for 22 years.
Constipation was defined as having less than one bowel movement a day - approximately 7% of the population are thought to be affected to this degree. Men who were constipated were 2.7 times more likely to develop Parkinson's as men who had an average of one bowel movement per day.
Dr Abbott, said: "However, if people have constipation that does not respond to use of laxatives along with other factors, such as a family history of the disease or other motor problems, then they may be at higher risk of developing the disease."