Possible interaction of gender and age on human swallowing behavior

Roberto Oliveira Dantas; Leda Maria Tavares Alves; Carla Manfredi dos Santos; Rachel de Aguiar Cassiani

Arq. Gastroenterol. vol.48 no.3 São Paulo July/Sept. 2011

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: The swallowing behavior is affected by age and possibly by gender. However, the interaction of the effects of age and gender on swallowing is not completely known.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the possibility of interaction of gender and age on human swallowing behavior.
METHOD: Swallowing was evaluated in 89 healthy subjects by the water swallowing test, 43 men and 46 women aged 20-40 years (younger, n = 38), 41-60 years (middle-aged, n = 31) and 61-80 years (older, n = 20). Each subject ingested in triplicate 50 mL of water while precisely timed and the number of swallows needed to ingest all the volume was counted.
RESULTS: The interval between swallows was shorter and the volume in each swallow was smaller in women compared to men. In older subjects the time to ingest the 50 mL of water was longer, the interval between swallows was longer, and swallowing flow and volume in each swallow were smaller than in younger and middle-aged subjects. The swallowing flow was lower in women compared to men in younger subjects. The volume of each swallow was smaller in women than in men in younger and middle-aged subjects. There was no difference in swallowing flow and volume between older men and older women.
CONCLUSION: Age and gender influence swallowing behavior, with the effect of gender being more evident in younger subjects and the effect of age being more evident in men.

Headings: Age effect. Gender identity. Deglutition.

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