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Relationship between tongue strength, lip strength, and nutrition-related sarcopenia in older rehabilitation inpatients: a cross-sectional study

Authors Sakai K, Nakayama E, Tohara H, Kodama K, Takehisa T, Takehisa Y, Ueda K

Received 5 May 2017

Accepted for publication 21 June 2017

Published 3 August 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1207—1214


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Video abstract presented by Kotomi Sakai.

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Kotomi Sakai,1,2 Enri Nakayama,2 Haruka Tohara,3 Keiji Kodama,4 Takahiro Takehisa,5 Yozo Takehisa,6 Koichiro Ueda2

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Setagaya Memorial Hospital, 2Department of Dysphagia Rehabilitation, Nihon University School of Dentistry, 3Gerodontology and Oral Rehabilitation, Department of Gerontology and Gerodontology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 4Department of Internal Medicine, 5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Setagaya Memorial Hospital, Tokyo, 6Department of Internal Medicine, Hakuai Memorial Hospital, Tokushima, Japan

Objective: The objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between tongue strength, lip strength, and nutrition-related sarcopenia (NRS).
Patients and methods: A total of 201 older inpatients aged ≥65 years (70 men, median age: 84 years, interquartile range: 79–89 years) consecutively admitted for rehabilitation were included in this cross-sectional study. The main factors evaluated were the presence of NRS diagnosed by malnutrition using the Mini-Nutrition Assessment – Short Form, sarcopenia based on the criteria of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia, tongue strength, and lip strength. Other factors such as age, sex, comorbidity, physical function, cognitive function, and oral intake level were also assessed.
Results: In all, 78 (38.8%) patients were allocated to the NRS group, and 123 (61.2%) patients were allocated to the non-NRS group. The median tongue strength and lip strength (interquartile range) were significantly lower in the NRS group (tongue: 22.9 kPa [17.7–27.7 kPa] and lip: 7.2 N [5.6–9.8 N]) compared with the non-NRS group (tongue: 29.7 kPa [24.8–35.1 kPa] and lip: 9.9 N [8.4–12.3 N], P<0.001 for both). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that NRS was independently associated with tongue strength (odds ratio [OR] =0.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.87–0.98, P=0.012) and lip strength (OR =0.76, 95% CI 0.66–0.88, P<0.001), even after adjusting for age, sex, comorbidity, physical function, cognitive function, and oral intake level.
Conclusion: The likelihood of occurrence of NRS decreased when tongue strength or lip strength increased. Tongue strength and lip strength may be important factors for preventing and improving NRS, regardless of the presence of low oral intake level in older rehabilitation inpatients.

Keywords: sarcopenia, rehabilitation, tongue, lip, malnutrition

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