Bogart–Bacall syndrome

Bogart–Bacall syndrome (BBS) is a voice disorder that is caused by abuse or overuse of the vocal cords.[1][2]

People who speak or sing outside their normal vocal range can develop BBS; symptoms are chiefly an unnaturally deep or rough voice, or dysphonia, and vocal fatigue.[3] The people most commonly afflicted are those who speak in a low-pitched voice, particularly if they have poor breath and vocal control.[4] The syndrome can affect both men and women.[5]

In 1988 an article was published, describing a discrete type of vocal dysfunction which results in men sounding like actor Humphrey Bogart and women sounding like actress Lauren Bacall;[6] coincidentally, Bogart and Bacall were married to each other and made several films together. BBS is now the medical term for an ongoing hoarseness that often afflicts actors, singers or TV/radio voice workers who routinely speak in a very low pitch.[7]

Treatment usually involves voice therapy by a speech language pathologist.[8]


  1. Snow, James Byron; Ballenger, John Jacob (2009). Ballenger's Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. PMPH-USA. p. 937. ISBN 9781550093377.
  2. Brill, Marlene Targ (2014). Speech and Language Challenges: The Ultimate Teen Guide. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 64. ISBN 9780810887923.
  3. "RightDiagnosis: BBS Symptoms". Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  4. Rubin, John S.; Sataloff, Robert T.; Korovin, Gwen S. (2014). Diagnosis and Treatment of Voice Disorders. Plural Publishing. p. 229. ISBN 9781597566445.
  5. "RightDiagnosis: Bogart-Bacall syndrome". Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  6. Koufman, James A.; Blalock, P. David (May 1988). "Vocal fatigue and dysphonia in the professional voice user: Bogart-bacall syndrome". The Laryngoscope. 98 (5): 493–498. doi:10.1288/00005537-198805000-00003.
  7. "Natural Health Care - Singers and Musicians". Archived from the original on 2003-06-01. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  8. "RightDiagnosis: BBS Treatment". Retrieved 2011-09-03.

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