Changes in speaking fundamental frequency characteristics with aging

Folia Phoniatr Logop. 2008;60(3):120-7. doi: 10.1159/000118510. Epub 2008 Feb 28.


Changes in speaking fundamental frequency (SFF) associated with aging were studied in a total of 374 healthy normal speakers (187 males and 187 females) from adolescent to older age groups. Participants were asked to read a sample passage aloud, and acoustic analysis was performed. The main results were as follows: (1) Males exhibited no significant trend for SFF changes in aging. However, a slight increase was observed in participants aged 70 years or older. (2) Females in their 30s and 40s showed obviously lower frequencies than those in their 20s. Across all age groups, including the 80s, SFF tended to decrease markedly in association with aging. (3) The degree of SFF change in association with aging was much larger in females than in males. In addition, reference intervals (mean +/- 1.96 SD) obtained for males and females in each age group are considered useful for clinical detection of abnormalities of SFF, as well as for detection of laryngeal diseases causing SFF abnormality.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sound Spectrography
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Voice Quality