Prevalence and clinical correlation of dysphagia in Parkinson disease: a study on Chinese patients

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Dysphagia is relatively common in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) and can have a negative impact on their quality of life; therefore, it is imperative that its prevalence in PD patients is studied. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence and clinical correlation of dysphagia in Chinese PD patients.


We recruited 116 Chinese PD patients. A videofluoroscopic study of swallowing (VFSS) was used to identify dysphagia. Assessments, including water drinking test, relative motor symptoms, non-motor symptoms (NMS) and quality of life, were performed to analyze the risks of dysphagia.


The prevalence of dysphagia was 87.1%. The comparison of demographic and clinical features between patients with and without dysphagia included sex, education level, disease course, Mini-mental State Examination (MMSE), Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA), Question 6, 7 of the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS Part II), Hoehn-Yahr stage (H&Y), water drinking test, 39-item Parkinson Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) and Non-Motor Symptoms Quest (NMSQ). We found significant correlations between dysphagia and age. Using age, disease course, and H&Y stage as the independent variable in our regression analysis for assessing the risk factors of dysphagia in PD patients, age and H&Y stage displayed a strong correlation as the risk factors. The risk of dysphagia in elderly PD patients is 1.078 times greater than that of younger PD patients. Also, the risk of dysphagia in PD patients of a greater H&Y staging is 3.260 times greater than that of lower staging PD patients.


Our results suggest that dysphagia is common in Chinese PD patients. Older patients or those in higher H&Y stages are more likely to experience dysphagia. There is no correlation between dysphagia and PD duration.

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