田上, 義弘 徳島大学大学院口腔科学教育部（口腔科学専攻）
Echo intensity (EI) of the tongue in ultrasonography is an easy and quantitative assessment of tongue function. Elucidating the relationship between EI and frailty, is expected to aid in the early detection of frailty and oral hypofunction in older adults. We assessed tongue function and frailty in older outpatients visiting a hospital. The subjects were 101 individuals aged 65 or older (35 men and 66 women, mean age 76.4 ± 7.0 years). Tongue pressure and EI were measured as assessments of tongue function and grip strength, and Kihon Checklist (KCL) scores were measured as assessments of frailty. In women, a significant correlation was not found between the mean EI and grip strength, whereas a significant correlation was noted between each score of the KCL and the mean EI; the scores increased as the mean EI increased. A significant positive correlation was found between tongue pressure and grip strength, but no significant correlation was observed between tongue pressure and the KCL scores. In men, no significant correlation was found between tongue assessments and frailty, except for a significant positive correlation between tongue pressure and grip strength. The results of this study suggest that EI of the tongue is positively associated with physical frailty in women and may be useful for early detection of physical frailty status.
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