2019 年 31 巻 10 号 p. 747-750
[Purpose] We hypothesized that an association exists between the nutritional state of elderly people and the deterioration in the swallowing function associated with sarcopenia, which is reflected by the strength of the tongue and suprahyoid muscles. Therefore, we conducted a comparative study of the nutritional state and swallowing muscle strength. [Participants and Methods] The participants in this study were 25 elderly people in need of support or nursing care, situated at a geriatric health service facility, who were able to understand instructions and ate three meals per day orally. We evaluated the strength of the tongue muscles using a tongue pressure measurement device and the strength of the suprahyoid muscles by measuring the jaw-opening force. The nutritional state was evaluated using the Mini Nutritional Assessment. [Results] There was a significant correlation between the Mini Nutritional Assessment score and the jaw-opening force. Conversely, no correlation was found between the Mini Nutritional Assessment score and the tongue pressure. [Conclusion] The significant correlation between the Mini Nutritional Assessment score and the jaw-opening force suggests that the strength of the suprahyoid muscles, which reflects the swallowing function and jaw-opening force, deteriorates with age and is affected by the nutritional state. This suggests that the nutritional state could be an important indicator for the evaluation of the swallowing function.