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Self-reported throat symptoms in Ehlers–Danlos syndromes and hypermobility spectrum disorders: A cross-sectional survey study

Williams, H. R., Wood, G., Hakim, A. J. , Birchall, M. & Hirani, S. P. ORCID: 0000-0002-1577-8806 (2023). Self-reported throat symptoms in Ehlers–Danlos syndromes and hypermobility spectrum disorders: A cross-sectional survey study. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology, 8(5), pp. 1259-1264. doi: 10.1002/lio2.1120


Objectives: This study identified the frequency and severity of dysphagia, dysphonia, and laryngopharyngeal reflux symptoms in people with Ehlers–Danlos syndromes (EDS) or hypermobility spectrum disorders (HSD) and explored differences between diagnostic groups.

Methods: Participants were recruited via non-probability convenience sampling. Information was gathered via online survey, including the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI; Belafsky et al., J Voice. 2002;16:274–277), the Eating and Drinking Assessment Tool (EAT-10; Belafsky et al., Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2008;117:919–924), and the Voice Handicap Index (VHI; Jacobson et al., Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 1997;6(3):66–70). These were analyzed using ANOVAs.

Results: There were 1620 participants (96.6% female, 2.8% male) that met the inclusion criteria. The mean age was 38.09 (SD 12.22). 75.51% had hypermobile EDS (hEDS), 17.83% had HSD and 3.33% had classic EDS (cED). The cohort's mean scores were RSI = 22.95 (SD 9.01), EAT-10 = 11.91 (SD 9.66), and VHI score = 31.99 (SD 24.36). The hEDS group had significantly higher mean scores than the HSD group on RSI score and on some RSI items, on EAT-10 score and on all EAT-10 items, and on one VHI item.

Conclusion: People with EDS/HSD experience symptoms of acid reflux, dysphagia, and dysphonia to varying degrees with significant differences between hEDS than HSD. Awareness of the impact of EDS/HSD on throat symptoms will enable health care professionals to anticipate throat symptoms more readily in this population, providing individualized and effective management plans.

Level of Evidence: IV.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Triological Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publisher Keywords: dysphagia, dysphonia, Ehlers–Danlos, hypermobility, reflux
Subjects: R Medicine > RF Otorhinolaryngology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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