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