Relationship Between Dysphagia and Sarcopenia with Comprehensive Geriatric Evaluation

Dysphagia. 2021 Feb;36(1):140-146. doi: 10.1007/s00455-020-10120-3. Epub 2020 Apr 27.


Oropharyngeal dysphagia has features of geriatric syndromes and is strongly associated with sarcopenia. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to evaluate the association between dysphagia and sarcopenia, in a practical way, accompanied by comprehensive geriatric assessment. Dysphagia and sarcopenia were defined by the EAT-10 and SARC-F questionnaires, respectively. Cognition and mood, was evaluated by the Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), respectively. Physical performance was assessed by the Timed up and Go Test (TUG) and muscle strength was determined by Hand Grip Strength (HGS). Functionality was stated by Katz and Lawton Indexes. Serum levels of hemoglobin, triglyceride, albumin, and total cholesterol were recorded. A total of 512 (151 male/361 female) patients age 60 and older were included in the study. Prevalences of dysphagia and sarcopenia were 23% and 40.6%, respectively. In multivariate analysis sarcopenia (OR:2.596, p = 0.008), depressive symptoms (OR:1.115, p < 0.001), and lower KATZ scores (OR:0.810, p = 0.036) were independently related with dysphagia. Dysphagic patients with sarcopenia had lower scores on the Katz and Lawton scales (p < 0.001, rpb = 0.380 and p < 0.001, rpb = 0.447 respectively) and TUG performances were worse (p = 0.009, rpb = - 0.254). Serum hemoglobin and albumin levels were significantly low in dysphagic patients with sarcopenia (p < 0.001, rpb = 0.345, p = 0.008, rpb = 0.243). Dysphagia is independently associated with sarcopenia, depressive symptoms, and functionality. Dysphagia coexist with sarcopenia is associated with worse clinical consequences than without sarcopenia.

Keywords: Deglutition; Deglutition disorders; Dependency; Depression; Dysphagia; Sarcopenia.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Deglutition Disorders* / complications
  • Deglutition Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance
  • Sarcopenia* / complications
  • Sarcopenia* / epidemiology
  • Time and Motion Studies