The Spring 2018 online publication of the Pittsburgh Quarterly featured an article titled, “Hard to Swallow,” focusing on the prevalence of dysphagia and its treatment options. The article emphasizes the important role that speech-language pathologists have in treating patients diagnosed with dysphagia and outlines novel assessment approaches under investigation by researchers, including Dr. James Coyle.
Research out of Johns Hopkins University suggests that at least 1 in 3 adults in the US will develop difficulty swallowing as they age. A startling statistic coming from their report states that 25% of aging adults diagnosed with dysphagia will die within one month of receiving their diagnosis, and 50% dying within a year.
Dysphagia can result in serious medical complications including choking, pneumonia, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, all of which can lead to death.
It is critical that dysphagia clinicians and researchers continue to improve the prevention and treatment of this disorder.
At the NFOSD, our mission is to advance the treatment of swallowing disorders in our lifetime, and one of the first steps needed to do so is to increase awareness of the prevalence and negative outcomes of dysphagia.
Click Here to read the article from Daily Mail
Byline: Ed Steger
Dysphagia affects 3.0% of all adult US inpatients (aged 45–90 years) and is associated with a significantly longer hospital length of stay, higher inpatient costs, a higher likelihood of discharge to post-acute care facility, and inpatient mortality when compared to those with similar patient, hospital size, and clinical characteristics without dysphagia. Dysphagia has a substantial health and cost burden on the US healthcare system.
Public Radio’s Science Friday radio program featured a 12-minute segment on 9/8/17 titled, “When Your Tongue Needs a Tuneup.” Assistance professor of human performance studies at Wichita State University, Heidi Bell, discusses how lingual strength decreases as adults age and how this can impact one’s safety when swallowing. She also discusses some preventative measures that may help maintain muscle tone as people age.