Purpose: To investigate clinical, demographic and dietary factors associated with constipation in a sample of community dwelling people with Parkinson's disease, recruited through a specialist outpatient clinic. Partners/carers provided a convenience control group. Scope: Participants completed a baseline questionnaire (background information, diet and exercise, activities of daily living: mobility and manual dexterity, health-related quality of life (SF-12), stool frequency and characteristics, extent of concern due to constipation, laxative taking), and a four-week stool diary. The Rome criterion was used to determine constipation status. Multiple regression methods were used to explore the correlates of constipation. Baseline data were provided by 121 people with Parkinson's, (54 controls), of whom 73% (25%) met the Rome criterion. Prospective diary data from 106 people with Parkinson's (43 controls) showed lower proportions: 35% (7%) meeting the Rome criterion. Among all study subjects, i.e. Parkinson's patients and controls taken together, the presence of constipation is predicted by having Parkinson's disease (p=.003; odds ratio 4.80, 95% CI 1.64-14.04) and mobility score (p=.04; odds ratio 1.15, 95% CI 1.01-1.31), but not by dietary factors. Amongst people with Parkinson's constipation is predicted by number of medications (p=.027). Laxative taking masks constipation, and is significantly associated with wearing protection against bowel incontinence (p=.009; odds ratio 4.80, 95% CI: 1.48-15.52). Conclusions: Constipation is disease-related, not a lifestyle factor. More research is needed on optimal management and laxative use. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.