The journal of nutrition, health & aging, vol.23, no.6, pp.571-577, 2019 (SCI-Expanded)
ObjectivesDysphagia is described as a geriatric syndrome that occurs more frequently with aging. It is associated with the deterioration in functionality however, it is usually ignored. Frailty is a geriatric syndrome that is recognized more with its well-known adverse consequences. Very recently, dysphagia has been suggested to accompany frailty in older adults. We aimed to investigate the association between dysphagia and frailty in the community dwelling older adults.DesignProspective, cross-sectional study.SettingGeriatric outpatient clinic.ParticipantsOlder adults aged 60years.MeasurementsDysphagia was evaluated by EAT- 10 questionnaire and frailty by FRAIL scale. Handgrip strength (HGS) was evaluated by hand-dynamometer. Gait speed was evaluated by 4-meter usual gait speed (UGS). Nutritional status was assessed by mini-nutritional assessment-short form (MNA-SF).Results1138 patients were enrolled. Mean age was 74.17.3 years. EAT-10 questionnaire was answered by all and FRAIL-scale by 851 subjects. EAT-10 score >15 points was regarded as significant dysphagia risk. The participants with EAT-10>15 points were older when compared to the participants with EAT-10<=15 points (p=0.002). Among participants with EAT-10>15 points, women gender and neurodegenerative diseases were more prevalent (p=0.04, p=0.002; respectively); number of chronic diseases, number of drugs and FRAIL score were higher (p=0.001 for each), and HGS, UGS, MNA-SF scores were lower (p=0.002, p=0.01, p<0.001; respectively). In multivariate analyses, the factors independently associated with presence of EAT-10 score>15 were FRAIL score and the number of drugs.ConclusionDysphagia is associated with frailty irrespective to age, presence of neurodegenerative diseases, number of chronic diseases and drugs. To our knowledge, this is the largest serie in the literature providing data on independent association of dysphagia with frailty.