Vibratory characteristics of the vocal folds in young adult and geriatric women

  • Dawn M. Biever
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to D. M. Biever at Waisman Center on Mental Retardation and Human Development, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705-2280, U.S.A.
    Affiliations
    Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

    Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
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  • Diane M. Bless
    Affiliations
    Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

    Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
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      Summary

      Acoustic, aerodynamic, and videostroboscopic measures of vocal fold function were collected and analyzed during phonation of the vowel /i/ on 20 geriatric and 20 young adult normal female speakers. Acoustic and aerodynamic measures were analyzed for mean fundamental frequency, mean percent jitter, shimmer, sound pressure level, and mean airflow rate. Results indicate that the geriatric women exhibited greater shimmer and more intersubject variability in F0 and mean airflow rate. Stroboscopic findings revealed a geriatric profile of greater aperiodicity, incomplete glottal closure, mucosal wave alterations, and reduced amplitude of vibration when compared to their younger counterparts. The findings are discussed in terms of the reported age-related anatomic and physiologic changes.

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