Nav: Home

New study finds that aging can make it more difficult to swallow

July 26, 2018

New York, NY - As adults age, they all experience a natural loss of muscle mass and function. A new study finds that as the loss of muscle and function in the throat occurs it becomes more difficult for efficient constriction to occur while swallowing - which leads to an increased chance of food and liquids being left over in the throat.

The study, published in Dysphagia by Sonja M. Molfenter, an assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and her colleagues, helps to explain why 15 percent of seniors' experience dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.

Among other health issues, swallowing difficulties can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and pneumonia - from food and drinks being misdirected into the lungs. Swallowing difficulties can also have an economic impact. Other studies have demonstrated that when patients with dysphagia are admitted to the hospital, they normally experience a 40 percent longer length-of-stay than those without dysphagia - estimated to cost $547,000,000 per year.

Molfenter and her colleagues noted that dysphagia in older adults is particularly relevant as the proportion of seniors in the United States is projected to increase to over 20 percent by 2030.

"Dysphagia has serious consequences for health and quality of life," said Molfenter, the study's lead author. "This research establishes the need for exercise programs for older adults that target throat muscles just like those that target the muscles of the arms, legs and other parts of the human body."
-end-
Charles Lenell also of NYU and Cathy L. Lazarus of Mount Sinai Beth Israel and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai contributed to this study.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Located in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village, NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.

New York University

Related Muscle Mass Articles:

Proximity of hospitals to mass shootings in US
Nontrauma center hospitals were the nearest hospitals to most of the mass shootings (five or more people injured or killed by a gun) that happened in the US in 2019.
Who is left behind in Mass Drug Administration?
Ensuring equity in the prevention of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is critical to reach NTD elimination goals as well as to inform Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Middle-aged muscle mass linked to future heart disease risk
The amount of lean muscle a healthy person has in middle age is linked to their future risk of heart disease, suggests research in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
A mechanism capable of preserving muscle mass
By studying the young and aging muscles in mice, researchers from the Myology Research Center (Sorbonne Universite-Inserm) of the Institute of Myology identified a protein, CaVbeta1E that activates the factor GDF5.
Eyeballing a black hole's mass
There are no scales for weighing black holes. Yet astrophysicists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have devised a new way for indirectly measuring the mass of a black hole, while also confirming its existence.
Link between gut microbes & muscle growth suggests future approach to tackle muscle loss
Scientists led by NTU Singapore's Professor Sven Pettersson established a link between gut microbes and muscle growth and function -- a finding that could open new doors to interventions for age-related skeletal muscle loss.
Low muscle mass in arms and legs can heighten the mortality risk in older men and women
A study of individuals over 65 years old showed that all-cause mortality risk increased nearly 63-fold in women with low appendicular muscle mass.
How aerobic exercise and resistance training preserves muscle mass in obese older adults
Researchers report July 3 in the journal Cell Metabolism that combining aerobic exercise and resistance training helps elderly obese individuals preserve muscle mass and reverse frailty as they work to lose weight.
Chloride-channel in muscle cells provides new insights for muscle diseases
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have mapped the structure of an important channel in human muscle cells.
Changes in gun purchases after mass shootings
For this analysis, researchers examined monthly data on US background checks for gun purchases and permits from November 1998 through April 2016, and they looked for purchasing trends after mass shootings during that time.
More Muscle Mass News and Muscle Mass Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.