Swallowing in the Elderly: Evidence From Fluoroscopy An understanding of changes in swallow associated with aging, differentiated from effects of disease processes or other factors characteristic of aging, is critical to clinicians working with elderly dysphagic patients. Rapid growth in our aging population, and the prevalence of dysphagia within this group, underscore this need. The intent of ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
Swallowing in the Elderly: Evidence From Fluoroscopy
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rebecca Leonard
    Department of Otolaryngology/HNS, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2010
Swallowing in the Elderly: Evidence From Fluoroscopy
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2010, Vol. 19, 103-114. doi:10.1044/sasd19.4.103
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2010, Vol. 19, 103-114. doi:10.1044/sasd19.4.103

An understanding of changes in swallow associated with aging, differentiated from effects of disease processes or other factors characteristic of aging, is critical to clinicians working with elderly dysphagic patients. Rapid growth in our aging population, and the prevalence of dysphagia within this group, underscore this need. The intent of this paper is to review current information regarding typical changes in aging with implications for swallowing. Particular emphasis is on evidence from fluoroscopic studies of swallow function. Objective measures of timing and displacement, and other observations, were collected for 63 normal, non-dysphagic adults under the age of 65 years, and 74 carefully-screened, non-dysphagic volunteers over the age of 65 years. Differences between the groups are discussed, with special attention to their clinical relevance and application. Information provided will hopefully serve clinicians in recognizing typical and atypical swallow in the elderly, as well as characteristics of “typical” that may increase dysphagia risk, and reduce swallowing potential, in some elderly individuals.

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