Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) is underdiagnosed and undertreated in many geriatric centers. The aim of this study is to explore the prevalence of OD in acute geriatric patients. The outcome was mortality during hospitalization, mortality, and rehospitalization within 0–30 and 31–180 days of discharge. A total of 313 consecutive acute geriatric patients (44.1% male, mean age 83.1 years (SD 7.8)) hospitalized from 1 March to 31 August 2016 in the North Denmark Regional Hospital were included in this study. The volume-viscosity swallow test and the Minimal Eating Observation Form-II were conducted for each patient in order to screen for OD. A total of 50% patients presented with OD. In the group of patients with OD, significantly more lived in nursing homes; had a lower weight, DEMMI score, and handgrip strength; and smaller circumference of arms and legs compared with non-dysphagia patients. Patients with OD presented an increased length of stay in hospital of one day (p
= 0.70). Intra-hospital mortality was 5.8% vs. 0.7%, (p
< 0.001) compared with patients with no symptoms of OD. OD is prevalent in acute geriatric patients, and the mortality is 34% within six months of hospitalization. Screening for OD should be given more attention and included in geriatric guidelines.
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