Does age or sex affect pharyngeal swallowing?

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The influence of age and gender on the pharyngeal pressure wave during swallowing was investigated in 73 healthy volunteers using a four-sensor manometry probe. The distal sensor was placed within the upper oesophageal sphincter (UOS) and three proximal sensors were located in the pharynx 2, 4 and 6 cm above the UOS. Twenty-nine variables describing the amplitude and timing of the swallow waveforms for a 5 ml water bolus were recorded from the pharynx and the UOS. Analysis of the results indicated that ageing was associated with slowing of the swallow response in the pharynx, impaired opening of the UOS and a marked reduction in resting UOS tone.

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