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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Apr;62(4):716-20. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12745. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Dysphagia in old-old women: prevalence as determined according to self-report and the 3-ounce water swallowing test.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether symptoms and clinical signs of swallowing dysfunction could be easily identified in community-dwelling elderly adults and to examine the association between self-report and direct observation of symptoms and signs of swallowing dysfunction.

DESIGN:

Physiological substudy conducted as a home visit within an observational cohort study.

SETTING:

Baltimore City and County, Maryland.

PARTICIPANTS:

Community-dwelling elderly women without history of dysphagia or neurological disease aged 85 to 94 enrolled in the Women's Health and Aging Study II (N = 47).

MEASUREMENTS:

Three trials of the 3-ounce water swallowing test, swallowing function questionnaire, and frailty status.

RESULTS:

Thirty-four (72%) subjects demonstrated swallowing dysfunction in at least one swallowing trial and 16 (34%) in all three trials. The most common signs of dysfunction were throat clear and wet voice. Conversely, participants reported few symptoms of dysphagia on a swallowing function questionnaire. The most common symptom, reported by approximately 15% of participants, was the sensation of the food going "down the wrong way," 8.5% or fewer participants reported other symptoms.

CONCLUSION:

Signs of swallowing dysfunction were present in a large majority of community-dwelling old-old women, but they were largely unrecognized and reported. Formal evaluation of swallowing function in community-dwelling elderly adults is necessary to determine the clinical consequences of these findings.

KEYWORDS:

dysphagia; screening; self-report; swallowing; water test

PMID:
24635053
PMCID:
PMC4609899
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.12745
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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