Dysphagia prevalence, time course, and association with probable sarcopenia, inactivity, malnutrition, and disease status in older patients admitted to an emergency department: A secondary analysis of cohort study data

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There is evolving evidence for an association between dysphagia and sarcopenia in older adults. For optimizing the acute health care initiative across health care settings, this study in-vestigated prevalence and time-course of dysphagia in older patients admitted to an emergency department (ED) as well as its association with parameters for probable sarcopenia, inactivity, malnu-trition, disease status, and systemic inflammation. A secondary analysis of data from the FAM-CPH cohort study on acutely admitted older medical patients (n = 125). Data were collected upon ED admission as well as four and 56 weeks after discharge. Using the Eating Assessment Tool cut-off score ≥ 2, signs of dysphagia were present in 34% of the patients at ED admission and persisted in 25% of the patients 56 weeks after discharge. Signs of dysphagia at 56-week follow-up were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with probable sarcopenia (low handgrip strength (OR = 3.79), low leg muscle strength (OR = 8.14), and low physical performance (OR = 5.68)) and with baseline swallowing inactivity (OR = 5.61), malnutrition (OR = 4.35), and systemic inflammation (OR = 1.33). Signs of dysphagia in older patients admitted to an ED was prevalent, persisted 56 weeks after discharge, and was associated with probable sarcopenia and related conditions; all modifiable targets for management of dysphagia in older patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

    Research areas

  • Acute care, Geriatric patients, Inactivity, Malnutrition, Sarcopenia, Swallowing difficulties

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