Presented in poster format at the 114th Annual Meeting of the Triological Society, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., April 29–30, 2011.
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
Volume 122, Issue 2, pages 332–335, February 2012
How to Cite
Davids, T., Klein, A. M. and Johns, M. M. (2012), Current dysphonia trends in patients over the age of 65: Is vocal atrophy becoming more prevalent?. The Laryngoscope, 122: 332–335. doi: 10.1002/lary.22397
The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
- Issue published online: 23 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 15 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Received: 10 APR 2011
- Vocal atrophy;
- aging voice;
- Level of Evidence: 2b
The current trends in geriatric voice referrals including the number of patients over the age of 65 years seen per year, the common diagnostic patterns, and specifically the number of patients with vocal atrophy were assessed.
Retrospective cohort study.
A retrospective chart review of all patients seen at the Emory Voice Center for otolaryngologic complaints between the years of 2004 and 2009 was performed.
Of the 6,360 patients seen over a 6-year period, 21% were over the age of 65 years. Fifty-eight percent of patients over the age of 65 years had vocal complaints, with the most common diagnoses being vocal atrophy (25%), neurologic vocal dysfunction (23%), and vocal fold immobility (19.2%). Of those patients diagnosed with vocal atrophy, the majority opted for voice therapy (57%), followed by reassurance (39%), and injection laryngoplasty (6%). There was a statistically significant improvement in mean pretherapy and post-therapy voice-related quality of life (VRQOL) score.
As the number of people in the over 65-year-old age bracket increases, so do the number of geriatric referrals. Although diagnostic trends remain the same, vocal atrophy is becoming more prevalent, with a large number of patients seeking intervention. This will likely result in an increased need for health resources in the future.