The term prevalence is used in medical statistics to estimate and know the proportion of people who have a symptom or disease.

For dysphagia or swallowing difficulties, the prevalence data currently known are varied across different countries due to the following factors:

  • The age of the population studied
  • The cause of dysphagia
  • The diagnostic method used


The data published in World Gastroenterology Organization about prevalence of dysphagia is as follows: 


Despite this high prevalence, the evaluation of the ability to swallow is not always included when the patient presents with a neurological, oncological disease or in the geriatric evaluation. This is why it can sometimes go unnoticed. Accurate swallowing detection can help detect dysphagia early and prevent serious health complications.

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Recommended bibliography:

  • Malegalada et al. Dysphagia Global Guidelines & Cascades of the World Gastroenterology Organization. 2014