Prevalence of voice disorders in the elderly: a systematic review of population-based studies
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Voice disorders can occur in the elderly as a result of natural anatomical and physiological changes or greater exposure to pathological conditions in the aging, affecting communication and quality of life. Nevertheless, data about the prevalence of voice disorders in this phase of life are not well known in a population-based perspective. The aim of the present systematic review was to identify the prevalence of vocal disorders in persons aged 60 years or more in population-based studies. A systematic review was undertaken in eleven electronic databases based on preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis statement (PRISMA) criteria. The methodological quality of the studies was analyzed with strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (STROBE) directives. The search was conducted independently by two researchers. Four articles satisfied the criteria of eligibility. The prevalence of vocal disorders in the general population aged 60 years or more ranged from 4.8 to 29.1 %. The studies were different in terms of the methodological procedures and the STROBE directives were not completely satisfied by any of the articles selected. The prevalence of vocal disorders in the general elderly population ranged from low to moderate in population-based studies. The methodological discrepancies of the studies compromised the reliability of the estimated data. Upgrading the methodological quality of studies and designing a short, valid and easy-to-use functional voice-related instrument are urgently required in health surveys to determine the prevalence of vocal disorders among elderly individuals.
KeywordsVoice Voice disorders Epidemiology Cross-sectional studies Aged Aging
Conflict of interest
The authors do not have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research.
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