Objective: To examine the association between cognitive function and dysphagia risk among Japanese nursing home residents. Background: Reduction in cognitive function can influence the intake of food during swallowing, and may be an aggravating factor in dysphagia. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 236 residents aged ≥60 years from eight nursing homes. Screening of dysphagia, especially aspiration risk, was conducted using the Modified Water Swallow Test, whose scores from one to three were classified as at risk of dysphagia. Cognitive function was evaluated using Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Number of teeth and occlusal support were evaluated by clinical examination. The participants were stratified into dentulous and edentulous groups, because the number of teeth could influence swallowing function. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for dysphagia risk based on the scores of MMSE were calculated using logistic regression. Demographic characteristics, activity of daily living, comorbidities, health behaviour and occlusal support were used as covariates. Results: Among the 236 participants (111 dentulous participants and 125 edentulous participants) included in our analysis, 16.9% belonged to risk of dysphagia. Dentulous participants with higher scores of MMSE tended to have significantly lower odds of dysphagia risk after adjusting for covariates (OR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.80-0.96). Despite the lack of significant differences, edentulous participants with higher score of MMSE tended to have lower odds of dysphagia risk (OR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.83-1.00). Conclusion: Decreased cognitive function may be an independent predictor of dysphagia among dentulous and edentulous adults.
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