Prolongation of bolus forming complicates ingestion, in particular in older adults. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to examine which oral functions are associated with prolongation of the oral phase of forming a bolus until swallowing in older adults. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: three nursing homes in Kitakyushu, Japan from August 2017 to October 2018. Participants: 39 adults >60-years. Measurements: Number of functional teeth, chewing ability, swallowing ability, tongue and cheek pressure, saliva flow rate, oral diadochokinesis, global cognitive function, and body mass index, were examined. Time of oral phase until the first swallowing of solid food was measured as the outcome of the study using video, and audio recording of the swallowing sound by a throat microphone, with the cutoff point designated at 30 s. Based on the oral phase, participants were divided in two groups: normal and prolonged. Results: The 39 enrolled participants had a median age of 87 years, 17.3% were men, and 48.7% had prolonged oral phase. In the prolonged group, the swallowing ability, saliva flow rate, tongue and cheek pressure, and oral diadochokinesis were significantly lower than in the normal group. Binomial logistic regression analysis revealed that oral phase prolongation was associated with oral diadochokinesis (odds ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.67–0.98) after adjusting for potential covariates. Conclusion: Oral diadochokinesis deterioration is significantly associated with oral phase prolongation for initial swallowing of solid food in older adults.

(1) M. Shimosaka, W. Fujii, Y. Kakinoki, S. Akifusa J Aging Res & Lifestyle 2020;9:3-8

Article S. Akifusa