Association between Dysphagia and Surgical Outcomes across the Continuum of Frailty.


This study examined the relationship between dysphagia and adverse outcomes across frailty conditions among surgical patients ≥50 years of age. A retrospective cohort analysis of surgical hospitalizations in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's National Inpatient Sample among patients ≥50 years of age undergoing intermediate/high risk surgery not involving the larynx, pharynx, or esophagus. Of 3,298,835 weighted surgical hospitalizations, dysphagia occurred in 1.2% of all hospitalizations and was higher in frail patients ranging from 5.4% to 11.7%. Dysphagia was associated with greater length of stay, higher total costs, increased non-routine discharges, and increased medical/surgical complications among both frail and non-frail patients. Dysphagia may be an independent risk factor for poor postoperative outcomes among surgical patients ≥50 years of age across frailty conditions and is an important consideration for providers seeking to reduce risk in vulnerable surgical populations.





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Publication Info

Cohen, Seth M, Kathryn N Porter Starr, Thomas Risoli, Hui-Jie Lee, Stephanie Misono, Harrison Jones and Sudha Raman (2021). Association between Dysphagia and Surgical Outcomes across the Continuum of Frailty. Journal of nutrition in gerontology and geriatrics, 40(2-3). pp. 59–79. 10.1080/21551197.2021.1929644 Retrieved from

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Seth Morris Cohen

Professor of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences

Dr. Cohen is an otolaryngologist head & neck surgeon with fellowship training in laryngology. He performs clinical care and research focused on patients with voice, airway, and swallowing problems. 


Harrison N. Jones

Associate Professor of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences

Sudha Rani Raman

Assistant Professor in Population Health Sciences

Areas of expertise: Epidemiology and Health Services Research

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