Background: Swallowing disorders are a serious health concern among older adults. Previous studies reported that sarcopenia may affect swallowing disorders; however, whether sarcopenia is related to the capacity to swallow (measured according to swallowing speed) in community-dwelling older adults is unclear. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between sarcopenia and swallowing capacity in community-dwelling older women. Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was conducted among community-dwelling older women in Japan. The inclusion criteria were as follows: women aged ≥65 years, with the ability to walk independently, and without dysphagia. The exclusion criterion was a history of stroke or Parkinson’s disease that directly caused dysphagia. The participants were divided into a sarcopenia and a healthy group based on the criteria of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia 2019. We measured swallowing speed (mL/s) as the swallowing capacity by conducting a 100-mL water-swallowing test. To assess the relationship between sarcopenia and swallowing capacity, we performed a multiple regression analysis. Results: Two-hundred and sixty participants were enrolled in the study. Their mean age was 82.3 ± 6.9 years, and 61 (23.5%) of them displayed sarcopenia. The mean swallowing speed was 11.5 ± 4.9 mL/s, and 17 women (6.5%) exhibited choking or a wet-hoarse voice. Multiple regression analysis revealed that sarcopenia was related to the swallowing capacity after adjusting for age, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the number of comorbidities (β = –0.20, 95% CI –3.78 to –0.86, p = 0.002). Conclusions: We found that sarcopenia was related to the swallowing capacity in older women in this study. Future research should clarify whether a similar relationship exists in older men as well as the effect of sarcopenia on the swallowing capacity in older adults over a period of time.

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