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Enferm Clin. 2014 May-Jun;24(3):183-90. doi: 10.1016/j.enfcli.2013.12.009. Epub 2014 Feb 21.

[Relationship between dysphagia and malnutritition in patients over 65 years of age].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Unidad de Aparato Digestivo y Urología, Hospital Universitario de La Princesa, Madrid, España. Electronic address:
Unidad de Aparato Digestivo, Hospital Universitario de La Princesa, Madrid, España.
Unidad de Aparato Digestivo y Urología, Hospital Universitario de La Princesa, Madrid, España.
Unidad de Aparato Digestivo, Hospital Infanta Cristina, Madrid, España.
Departamento de Estadística e Investigación Operativa III, Facultad de Estudios Estadísticos, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, España.
Departamento de Enfermería, Facultad de Enfermería, Fisioterapia y Podología, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, España.



The main objective of this study was to understand the relationship between oropharyngeal dysphagia, nutritional risk factors and functional impairment in the elderly (>65y) admitted to a medical-surgical hospital unit. Secondary objectives were to determine the prevalence of oropharyngeal dysphagia, the nutritional status and their functional capacity.


A cross-sectional observational study was performed. It included patients over 65 years of age admitted to the Gastroenterology-Urology Department in La Princesa University Hospital (Madrid, Spain) during the months of February and March. The following variables were recorded: age, sex, body mass index, family support, diagnosis, comorbidity, oropharyngeal dysphagia (EAT-10 and volume-viscosity evaluation method), malnutrition (Mininutritional Assessment) and functional capacity (Barthel index).


A total of 167 patients were recruited, with 30.8% and 15.4% prevalence of dysphagia and malnutrition, respectively. Prevalence of malnutrition increased to 75% in patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia. The logistic regression analysis showed how conditions as low score on the Barthel index (OR 0.97 [95% CI, 0.95-0.99]), comorbidity (OR 7.98 [CI 95%, 3.09-20.61]) and dysphagia (OR 4.07 [CI 95%, 1.57-10.52]) were associated with a greater likelihood of suffering malnutrition.


Oropharyngeal dysphagia is one of the most underdiagnosed and underestimated conditions among elderly patients and one that has a greater effect on their nutritional status. Accordingly, we suggest using established diagnostic methods with a multidisciplinary team collaboration for its early detection.


Cribado; Disfagia orofaríngea; Malnutrición; Malnutrition; Oropharyngeal dysphagia; Screening

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