Signs for identifying risk factors for aspiration pneumonia in elderly people needing nursing care

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Hiroki Shindo Takeshi Kikutani Mitsuyoshi Yoshida Yuri Yajima Fumiyo Tamura


Signs for identifying risk factors for aspiration pneumonia in elderly people needing nursing care


Aim: To identify signs predictive of pneumonia development that can be recognized at nursing homes where limited medical staff and equipment are available.

Methods: Subjects were 761 elderly individuals needing nursing care (172 men 594 women; mean age, 86.8±7.2 years), from 42 nursing homes across Japan who could eat orally and had not received antibiotic treatment during the previous three months. Dental hygienists examined each subject for wet hoarseness during and after eating a meal as a sign of impaired swallowing function, prolongation of mealtime length, refusal of oral care, dry mouth and halitosis. Data on the subjects’ activities of daily living, body mass index (BMI) calculated from body height and weight as a measure of nutritional status, and underlying diseases were transcribed from the medical records kept at each nursing home.

Results: During the study period, pneumonia occurred in 116 subjects (44 men, 72 women). Significant associations with pneumonia development were identified for nutritional status (P = 0.007) and swallowing function (P = 0.002). Analysis including comorbid conditions further identified heart disease (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: In this study, decreased BMI and wet hoarseness during and after eating a meal were identified as signs of pneumonia risk at nursing homes.

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How to Cite
SHINDO, Hiroki et al. Signs for identifying risk factors for aspiration pneumonia in elderly people needing nursing care. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 7, nov. 2016. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 feb. 2020.
aspiration pneumonia, nutritional status, swallowing function, oral care, nursing home, caregiver
Research Articles


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