Association between Dysphagia and Surgical Outcomes across the Continuum of Frailty

Published: May 28, 2021
Category: Bibliography
Authors: Harrison Jones, Hui-Jie Lee, Kathryn N. Porter Starr, Seth M. Cohen, Stephanie Misono, Sudha Raman, Thomas Risoli Jr.
Countries: United States
Language: English
Types: chronic condition, Outcomes, Surgical Care
Settings: Hospital


This study examined the relationship between dysphagia and adverse outcomes across frailty conditions among surgical patients ≥50 years of age.


A retrospective cohort analysis of surgical hospitalizations in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s National Inpatient Sample among patients ≥50 years of age undergoing intermediate/high risk surgery not involving the larynx, pharynx, or esophagus.


Of 3,298,835 weighted surgical hospitalizations, dysphagia occurred in 1.2% of all hospitalizations and was higher in frail patients ranging from 5.4% to 11.7%. Dysphagia was associated with greater length of stay, higher total costs, increased non-routine discharges, and increased medical/surgical complications among both frail and non-frail patients.


Dysphagia may be an independent risk factor for poor postoperative outcomes among surgical patients ≥50 years of age across frailty conditions and is an important consideration for providers seeking to reduce risk in vulnerable surgical populations.

dysphagia, frailty, surgery,outcomes

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