Background Dysphagia is a common complication of neurogenerative disorders, and a leading cause of death due to aspiration pneumonia. Little is known about the frequency and the characteristics of dysphagia in HD. Well-balanced strategies for treatment and prevention of dysphagia in HD are lacking.
Objetives To determine the prevalence of dysphagia in HD.
Methods National, multicenter, observational, cross-sectional Study (Spanish EHDN). Dysphagia was assessed using the questionnaire EAT-10 (eating assessment tool), caregiver burden using the SumaCare, functional capacity using the TFC score, disease severity using the Unified HD Rating Scale (UHDRS), psyquiatric status (PBA-s), nutritional status using the Body Mass Index (BMI), and quality of life using the SF36.
Results 224 patients were included, 59.2% women, mean age 48.9 + 14.8 years, median TFC score of 9 (IQR 10), median UHDRS motor score of 35 (IQR 52), median cognitive scores 150 (IQR 193), and mean BMI 24.7 + 5.4. One hundred and ninety seven patients (88%) completed the EAT-10. Dysphagia was found in 37% of the simple, most of them had a caregiver, and it was equally frequent in men compared to women. Patients with dysphagia were older (p = 0.02), had higher UHDRS motor scores (p < 0.0001), higher caregiver burden (p = 0.002), and lower cognitive scores (p < 0.0001), TFC scores (p < 0.0001), level of education (p = 0.002), and quality of live (p = 0.001). There were not statistical differences between patients with/without dysphagia in terms of BMI, PBA-s, comorbidities and nutritional supplements intake.
Conclusions Dysphagia is very frequent in HD and associated with more severe disease, lower functional capacity and caregiver burden. Further strategies are warranted to identify dysphagia and develop nursing interventions including mealtime tips, environment accommodation, and food choices to prevent aspiration pneumonia in HD clinics.
Funded by EHDN, Nutricia and Fresenius Kabi.
- Huntington´s disease