A review of the relationship between dysphagia and malnutrition following stroke

Norine C. Foley, Ruth E. Martin, Katherine L. Salter, Robert W. Teasell

J Rehabil Med 2009; 41: 707–713

ABSTRACT:

Objective: To clarify the relationship between malnutrition and dysphagia following stroke.

Design: Systematic review.

Methods: All published trials that had examined both the swallowing ability and nutritional status of subjects following stroke were identified. Pooled analyses were performed to establish whether the odds of being malnourished were increased given the presence of dysphagia.

Results: Eight studies were identified. The presence of malnutrition and dysphagia ranged from 8.2% to 49.0% and 24.3% to 52.6%, respectively. Five of the included trials were conducted within the first 7 days following stroke, while 3 were conducted during the rehabilitation phase. The overall odds of being malnourished were higher among subjects who were dysphagic compared with subjects with intact swallowing (odds ratio: 2.425; 95% confidence interval: 1.264–4.649, p < 0.008). In subgroup analysis, the odds of malnutrition were significantly increased during the rehabilitation stage (odds ratio: 2.445; 95% confidence interval: 1.009–5.925, p < 0.048), but not during the first 7 days of hospital admission (odds ratio: 2.401; 95% confidence interval: 0.918–6.277, p < 0.074).

Conclusion: In a systematic review including the results from 8 studies, the odds of being malnourished were increased given the presence of dysphagia following stroke.

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