Impaired eating and swallowing function in older adults in the community: The Kurihara project

Kyoko Takahashi, Katsuaki Amemiya, Masahiro Nakatsuka, Kei Nakamura, Mari Kasai, Kenichi Meguro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Older adults with dementia often develop aspiration pneumonia as a complication due to deterioration of swallowing function. Herein, we report our findings of eating and swallowing-related functions in elderly local residents. Methods: The subjects were 229 elderly residents in Kurihara City, including 97 healthy (Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR): 0), 108 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (CDR: 0.5), and 24 with dementia (CDR: 1 or higher: CDR 1+). We analyzed the relationships between the findings, eating, and swallowing, based on the database of the Kurihara Project performed from 2008 to 2010. Results: In the CDR 0.5 group, some deterioration in oral condition, oral function and swallowing function was confirmed. In the CDR 0.5 group, tooth staining, decrease in oral diadochokinesis (oral motion velocity), increased number of points below the cut-off value in a repetitive saliva swallowing test and the questionnaire, and prolonged water swallowing time were confirmed. In the CDR 1+ group, bad breath, elimination of the pharyngeal reflex, increase in disturbed soft palate elevation, and prolonged jelly swallowing time were confirmed. Conclusions: Deterioration of swallowing function was confirmed, even in subjects with mild dementia, in addition to development of problems related to food intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4040
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct


  • Community
  • Dementia
  • Eating
  • Older adults
  • Swallowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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