Relationship between tongue strength and 1-year life expectancy in elderly people needing nursing care

Yuri Yajima, Takeshi Kikutani, Fumiyo Tamura, Mitsuyoshi Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Tongue strength is a useful indicator of oral function and has been found to decrease with aging and reduced physical functioning. The present study aimed to assess the relationships of tongue strength with physical function, mental function, and nutritional status, and also between these factors and 1-year outcomes, to determine whether tongue strength is related to life expectancy in elderly people needing nursing care. The subjects were 140 elderly individuals requiring needing nursing care (49 men and 91 women; ≥65 years). The investigated items included sex, age, activities of daily living (ADL), comorbidity, cognitive function, nutritional status, eating function, occlusal support, and tongue strength. Furthermore, a follow-up study was conducted 1 year later, and factors related to death were identified. The mean tongue strength of the total 140 subjects was 20.3 ± 8.6 kPa. Tongue strength was assessed relative to each of the investigated items, using the t test and one-way analysis of variance. Tongue strength was significantly related to ADL, comorbidity, cognitive function, calf circumference, food intake, and occlusal support. Fifteen subjects were found to have died at the 1-year follow-up study. We assessed the relationships of 1-year outcomes with each of the factors examined, and 1-year outcomes were found to be significantly related to ADL and tongue strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalOdontology / the Society of the Nippon Dental University
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry


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