We undertook a systematic review of swallowing biomechanics, as assessed using pharyngeal and esophageal manometry in healthy or dysphagic older individuals aged over 60 years of age, comparing findings to studies of younger participants. PRISMA-P methodology was used to identify, select, and evaluate eligible studies. Across studies, older participants had lowerupper esophageal sphincter (UES) resting pressures and evidence of decreased UES relaxation when compared to younger groups. Intrabolus pressures (IBP) above the UES were increased, demonstrating flow resistance at the UES. Pharyngeal contractility was increased and prolonged in some studies, which may be considered as an attempt to compensate for UES flow resistance. Esophageal studies show evidence of reduced contractile amplitudes in the distal esophagus, and an increased frequency of failed peristaltic events, in concert with reduced lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, in the oldest subjects. Major motility disorders occurred in similar proportions in older and young patients in most clinical studies, but some studies show increases in achalasia or spastic motilityin older dysphagia and noncardiac chest pain patients. Overall, study qualities were moderate with a low likelihood of bias. There were few clinical studies specifically focused on swallowing outcomes in older patient groups and more such studies are needed.
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