The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 1003–1009 | Cite as

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Association Between Sarcopenia and Dysphagia

  • W.-T. Zhao
  • M. Yang
  • H.-M. Wu
  • L. Yang
  • Xue-mei ZhangEmail author
  • Y. Huang



Sarcopenia, an age-related decrease in muscle mass and function, is associated with several potential adverse health outcomes. Its association with another age-related syndrome, dysphagia remains unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to explore the association between sarcopenia and dysphagia.


PubMed, Embase, Scopus and CINAHL were searched for cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies that investigated the association between sarcopenia and dysphagia. First author, publication year, study type, sample size, inclusion and exclusion criteria, participant demographics, definition and measurement for evaluation of sarcopenia and dysphagia, main outcomes were retrieved. The association between sarcopenia and dysphagia were expressed by odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).


9 studies are eligible in the systematic review, and 5 cross-sectional studies comprising 913 participants which showed dichotomous classification of sarcopenia and dysphagia were included in the meta-analysis. The crude odds ratios (ORs) were extracted from 5 studies, and 4 of them also provide adjusted ORs. The crude ORs between sarcopenia and dysphagia is 6.17 (95% CI, 3.81-10.00), after adjusting for some confounders, such as age, sex, Barthel Index score, nutritional status, sarcopenia is also have an association with dysphagia (adjusted ORs, 4.06; 95% CI, 2.27-7.29). The subgroup analysis showed that there was no significant difference between different sarcopenia diagnostic criteria, assessment tools of skeletal muscle mass and dysphagia.


Sarcopenia was positively associated with dysphagia. Prevention and screening of dysphagia is essential among sarcopenic old patients. The causal relationship requires more prospective cohort study for confirmation.

Key words

Sarcopenia dysphagia aging order people 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • W.-T. Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • H.-M. Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. Yang
    • 3
  • Xue-mei Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Y. Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Center of Gerontology and Geriatrics, West China HospitalSichuan University, National Clinical Research Center of Geriatrics, West China Hospital, Sichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Chengdu City, Sichuan ProvincePR China
  3. 3.Department of NursingChengdu Sixth People’s HospitalChengduChina

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