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Social Vulnerability, Frailty and Mortality in Elderly People  [PDF]
Melissa K. Andrew, Arnold B. Mitnitski, Kenneth Rockwood
PLOS ONE , 2008, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002232
Abstract: Background Social vulnerability is related to the health of elderly people, but its measurement and relationship to frailty are controversial. The aims of the present study were to operationalize social vulnerability according to a deficit accumulation approach, to compare social vulnerability and frailty, and to study social vulnerability in relation to mortality. Methods and Findings This is a secondary analysis of community-dwelling elderly people in two cohort studies, the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA, 1996/7–2001/2; N = 3707) and the National Population Health Survey (NPHS, 1994–2002; N = 2648). Social vulnerability index measures that used self-reported items (23 in NPHS, 40 in CSHA) were constructed. Each measure ranges from 0 (no vulnerability) to 1 (maximum vulnerability). The primary outcome measure was mortality over five (CHSA) or eight (NPHS) years. Associations with age, sex, and frailty (as measured by an analogously constructed frailty index) were also studied. All individuals had some degree of social vulnerability. Women had higher social vulnerability than men, and vulnerability increased with age. Frailty and social vulnerability were moderately correlated. Adjusting for age, sex, and frailty, each additional social ‘deficit’ was associated with an increased odds of mortality (5 years in CSHA, odds ratio = 1.05, 95% confidence interval: 1.02–1.07; 8 years in the NPHS, odds ratio = 1.08, 95% confidence interval: 1.03–1.14). We identified a meaningful survival gradient across quartiles of social vulnerability, and although women had better survival than men, survival for women with high social vulnerability was equivalent to that of men with low vulnerability. Conclusions Social vulnerability is reproducibly related to individual frailty/fitness, but distinct from it. Greater social vulnerability is associated with mortality in older adults. Further study on the measurement and operationalization of social vulnerability, and of its relationships to other important health outcomes, is warranted.
Reduced Health-Related Quality of Life in Elders with Frailty: A Cross-Sectional Study of Community-Dwelling Elders in Taiwan  [PDF]
Cheng-Chieh Lin,Chia-Ing Li,Chiu-Kai Chang,Chiu-Shong Liu,Chih-Hsueh Lin,Nai-Hsin Meng,Yih-Dar Lee,Fei-Na Chen,Tsai-Chung Li
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021841
Abstract: Exploring the domains and degrees of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) that are affected by the frailty of elders will help clinicians understand the impact of frailty. This association has not been investigated in community-dwelling elders. Therefore, we examined the domains and degree of HRQOL of elders with frailty in the community in Taiwan.
Self-respect through ability to keep fear of frailty at a distance: Successful ageing from the perspective of community-dwelling older people
Helena M. H?rder,Kerstin Fr?ndin,Maria E. H. Larsson
International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health & Well-Being , 2013, DOI: 10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20194
Abstract: With population ageing, there is an increased interest in how to promote a good old age. A predominant concept in these discussions is successful ageing, which is mainly based on researchers’ definitions. This article aims to explore successful ageing from the perspective of community-dwelling older people (24 persons aged 77–90 years). Individual open interviews were conducted and analysed according to qualitative content analysis. An overarching theme was formulated as “self-respect through ability to keep fear of frailty at a distance”. This embraced the content of four categories: “having sufficient bodily resources for security and opportunities”, “structures that promote security and opportunities”, “feeling valuable in relation to the outside world”, and “choosing gratitude instead of worries”. Ageing seems to be a dynamic process rather than a static structure and might therefore be susceptible to actions. Paying attention to attitudes and treating the older person with respect, particularly with regard to worries about increasing vulnerability, can lead to better ways of promoting successful ageing.
A reliable measure of frailty for a community dwelling older population
Shahrul Kamaruzzaman, George B Ploubidis, Astrid Fletcher, Shah Ebrahim
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1477-7525-8-123
Abstract: The British Women's Heart and Health Study (BWHHS) cohort of 4286 women aged 60-79 years from 23 towns in Britain provided 35 frailty indicators expressed as binary categorical variables. These indicators were corrected for measurement error and assigned relative weights in its association with frailty. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) reduced the data to a smaller number of factors and was subjected to confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)which restricted the model by fitting the EFA-driven structure to observed data. Cox regression analysis compared the hazard ratios for adverse outcomes of the newly developed British frailty index (FI) with a widely known FI. This process was replicated in the MRC Assessment study of older people, a larger cohort drawn from 106 general practices in Britain.Seven factors explained the association between frailty indicators: physical ability, cardiac symptoms/disease, respiratory symptoms/disease, physiological measures, psychological problems, co-morbidities and visual impairment. Based on existing concepts and statistical indices of fit, frailty was best described using a General Specific Model. The British FI would serve as a better population metric than the FI as it enables people with varying degrees of frailty to be better distinguished over a wider range of scores. The British FI was a better independent predictor of all-cause mortality, hospitalization and institutionalization than the FI in both cohorts.Frailty is a multidimensional concept represented by a wide range of latent (not directly observed) attributes. This new measure provides more precise information than is currently recognized, of which cluster of frailty indicators are important in older people. This study could potentially improve quality of life among older people through targeted efforts in early prevention and treatment of frailty.Identifying frail elderly people in clinical practice or in the wider population through various aspects of their health and
Predicting ADL disability in community-dwelling elderly people using physical frailty indicators: a systematic review
Joan Vermeulen, Jacques CL Neyens, Erik van Rossum, Marieke D Spreeuwenberg, Luc P de Witte
BMC Geriatrics , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-11-33
Abstract: A systematic search was performed in 3 databases (PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE) from January 1975 until April 2010. Prospective, longitudinal studies that assessed the predictive value of individual physical frailty indicators on ADL disability in community-dwelling elderly people aged 65 years and older were eligible for inclusion. Articles were reviewed by two independent reviewers who also assessed the quality of the included studies.After initial screening of 3081 titles, 360 abstracts were scrutinized, leaving 64 full text articles for final review. Eventually, 28 studies were included in the review. The methodological quality of these studies was rated by both reviewers on a scale from 0 to 27. All included studies were of high quality with a mean quality score of 22.5 (SD 1.6). Findings indicated that individual physical frailty indicators, such as weight loss, gait speed, grip strength, physical activity, balance, and lower extremity function are predictors of future ADL disability in community-dwelling elderly people.This review shows that physical frailty indicators can predict ADL disability in community-dwelling elderly people. Slow gait speed and low physical activity/exercise seem to be the most powerful predictors followed by weight loss, lower extremity function, balance, muscle strength, and other indicators. These findings should be interpreted with caution because the data of the different studies could not be pooled due to large variations in operationalization of the indicators and ADL disability across the included studies. Nevertheless, our study suggests that monitoring physical frailty indicators in community-dwelling elderly people might be useful to identify elderly people who could benefit from disability prevention programs.In ageing Western societies, the prevalence of frailty and its adverse outcomes increases [1]. Disability in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), which are the essential activities that a person needs to perform to be able to
Prevalence and Outcomes of Frailty in Korean Elderly Population: Comparisons of a Multidimensional Frailty Index with Two Phenotype Models  [PDF]
Hee-Won Jung, Sun-Wook Kim, Soyeon Ahn, Jae-Young Lim, Ji-Won Han, Tae-Hui Kim, Ki-Woong Kim, Kwang-il Kim, Cheol-Ho Kim
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087958
Abstract: Background Frailty is related to adverse outcomes in the elderly. However, current status and clinical significance of frailty have not been evaluated for the Korean elderly population. We aimed to investigate the usefulness of established frailty criteria for community-dwelling Korean elderly. We also tried to develop and validate a new frailty index based on a multidimensional model. Methods We studied 693 participants of the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging (KLoSHA). We developed a new frailty index (KLoSHA Frailty Index, KFI) and compared predictability of it with the established frailty indexes from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) and Study of Osteoporotic Fracture (SOF). Mortality, hospitalization, and functional decline were evaluated. Results The prevalence of frailty was 9.2% (SOF index), 13.2% (CHS index), and 15.6% (KFI). The criteria from CHS and KFI correlated with each other, but SOF did not correlate with KFI. During the follow-up period (5.6±0.9 years), 97 participants (14.0%) died. Frailty defined by KFI predicted mortality better than CHS index (c-index: 0.713 and 0.596, respectively; p<0.001, better for KFI). In contrast, frailty by SOF index was not related to mortality. The KFI showed better predictability for following functional decline than CHS index (area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.937 for KFI and 0.704 for CHS index, p = 0.001). However, the SOF index could not predict subsequent functional decline. Frailty by the KFI (OR = 2.13, 95% CI 1.04–4.35) and CHS index (OR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.05–4.76) were associated with hospitalization. In contrast, frailty by the SOF index was not correlated with hospitalization (OR = 1.43, 95% CI 0.68–3.01). Conclusion Prevalence of frailty was higher in Korea compared to previous studies in other countries. A novel frailty index (KFI), which includes domains of comprehensive geriatric assessment, is a valid criterion for the evaluation and prediction of frailty in the Korean elderly population.
Sensitivity and Specificity of a Short Questionnaire to Screen Frailty in the Community-Dwelling Older Population  [PDF]
Alessandra Capanna, Paola Scarcella, Francesco Gilardi, Sandro Mancinelli, Leonardo Palombi, Maria Cristina Marazzi, Fabio Riccardi, Giuseppe Liotta
Advances in Aging Research (AAR) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/aar.2018.73005
Abstract: Introduction. Frailty represents a major risk factor for death and Use of Hospital Services (UHS) among older adults. A simple tool to detect frailty might permit stratification of the community-dwelling older population according to the risk of negative outcomes. The present study aims at determining the sensitivity and specificity in predicting mortality and UHS of the Short Functional Geriatric Evaluation (SFGE), a short questionnaire to screen for frailty in community-dwelling older citizens. Methods. The study is a secondary analysis of all the data collected through an observational longitudinal cohort study carried out in Lazio region (Italy). The SFGE is compared with the Functional Geriatric Evaluation (FGE) questionnaire to define sensitivity and specificity for mortality and for UHS during the first year following its administration. Results. The SFGE classifies 36.3% of the respondents as frail and shows a sensitivity of 90.4% and a specificity of 78.3% compared to the FGE (area under the ROC: 0.928; CL95%: 0.910 - 0.947; p-value < 0.001). Those respondents identified by the SFGE as frail also include some of those classified by the FGE as pre-frail, who also show a high rate of UHS. The results show that the SFGE score predicts the UHS more accurately than it does the mortality rate. Conclusion. The SFGE identifies as frail a larger portion of the enrolled population than the FGE. Those people so identified show a high rate of UHS. Because of its easy and quick administration, it can be considered a useful primary screening tool but it must be followed up with a more extensive assessment of those identified as frail. The small time needed to fill in the tool and the possibility of administering it by telephone makes the SFGE a useful tool to screen for frailty and to plan the provision of care services at both individual and population level.
Analysis of frailty and survival from late middle age in the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging
Jing Shi, Xiaowei Song, Pulin Yu, Zhe Tang, Arnold Mitnitski, Xianghua Fang, Kenneth Rockwood
BMC Geriatrics , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-11-17
Abstract: This study analyzed data from the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging, to evaluate the relationship between age and deficit accumulation in men and women and to evaluate the impact of frailty on mortality. Community dwelling people aged 55+ years at baseline (n = 3275) were followed every two to three years between 1992 and 2000, during which time 36% died. A Frailty Index was constructed using 35 deficits, drawn from a range of health problems, including symptoms, disabilities, disease, and psychological difficulties.Most deficits increased the eight-year risk of death and were more lethal in men than in women, although women had a higher mean level of frailty (Frailty Index = 0.11 ± 0.10 for men, 0.14 ± 0.12 for women). The Frailty Index increased exponentially with age, with a similar rate in men and women (0.038 vs. 0.039; r > 0.949, P < 0.01). A dose-response relationship was observed as frailty increased.A Frailty Index employed in a Chinese sample, showed properties comparable with Western data, but deficit accumulation appeared to be more lethal than in the West.As populations age, on average, the need for health care increases. Even so, that average increase masks considerable heterogeneity, a topic of increasing relevance to health care planners. Heterogeneity of health and vulnerability to adverse outcomes in people of the same chronological age is commonly referred to as frailty [1].Despite a growing research literature on frailty, several operational definitions of frailty are employed. Notably, frailty in individuals can be operationalized as a phenotype or as the accumulation of deficits [2-4]. The deficit accumulation approach is based on the observation that as people age, they experience problems which can accumulate. As deficits (symptoms, signs, illnesses, disabilities) accumulate, people become more susceptible to adverse health outcomes, including worse health and even death. Counting deficits allows grades of frailty to be discerned. It also p
Prospective association of the SHARE-operationalized frailty phenotype with adverse health outcomes: evidence from 60+ community-dwelling Europeans living in 11 countries  [cached]
Macklai Nejma S,Spagnoli Jacques,Junod Julien,Santos-Eggimann Brigitte
BMC Geriatrics , 2013, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-13-3
Abstract: Background Among the many definitions of frailty, the frailty phenotype defined by Fried et al. is one of few constructs that has been repeatedly validated: first in the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) and subsequently in other large cohorts in the North America. In Europe, the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a gold mine of individual, economic and health information that can provide insight into better understanding of frailty across diverse population settings. A recent adaptation of the original five CHS-frailty criteria was proposed to make use of SHARE data and measure frailty in the European population. To test the validity of the SHARE operationalized frailty phenotype, this study aims to evaluate its prospective association with adverse health outcomes. Methods Data are from 11,015 community-dwelling men and women aged 60+ participating in wave 1 and 2 of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, a population-based survey. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess the 2-year follow up effect of SHARE-operationalized frailty phenotype on the incidence of disability (disability-free at baseline) and on worsening disability and morbidity, adjusting for age, sex, income and baseline morbidity and disability. Results At 2-year follow up, frail individuals were at increased risk for: developing mobility (OR 3.07, 95% CI, 1.02-9.36), IADL (OR 5.52, 95% CI, 3.76-8.10) and BADL (OR 5.13, 95% CI, 3.53-7.44) disability; worsening mobility (OR 2.94, 95% CI, 2.19- 3.93) IADL (OR 4.43, 95% CI, 3.19-6.15) and BADL disability (OR 4.53, 95% CI, 3.14-6.54); and worsening morbidity (OR 1.77, 95% CI, 1.35-2.32). These associations were significant even among the prefrail, but with a lower magnitude of effect. Conclusions The SHARE-operationalized frailty phenotype is significantly associated with all tested health outcomes independent of baseline morbidity and disability in community-dwelling men and women aged 60 and older living in Europe. The robustness of results validate the use of this phenotype in the SHARE survey for future research on frailty in Europe.
A Self-Reported Screening Tool for Detecting Community-Dwelling Older Persons with Frailty Syndrome in the Absence of Mobility Disability: The FiND Questionnaire  [PDF]
Matteo Cesari, Laurent Demougeot, Henri Boccalon, Sophie Guyonnet, Gabor Abellan Van Kan, Bruno Vellas, Sandrine Andrieu
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101745
Abstract: Background The “frailty syndrome” (a geriatric multidimensional condition characterized by decreased reserve and diminished resistance to stressors) represents a promising target of preventive interventions against disability in elders. Available screening tools for the identification of frailty in the absence of disability present major limitations. In particular, they have to be administered by a trained assessor, require special equipment, and/or do not discriminate between frail and disabled individuals. Aim of this study is to verify the agreement of a novel self-reported questionnaire (the “Frail Non-Disabled” [FiND] instrument) designed for detecting non-mobility disabled frail older persons with results from reference tools. Methodology/Principal Findings Data are from 45 community-dwelling individuals aged ≥60 years. Participants were asked to complete the FiND questionnaire separately exploring the frailty and disability domains. Then, a blinded assessor objectively measured the frailty status (using the phenotype proposed by Fried and colleagues) and mobility disability (using the 400-meter walk test). Cohen's kappa coefficients were calculated to determine the agreement between the FiND questionnaire with the reference instruments. Mean age of participants (women 62.2%) was 72.5 (standard deviation 8.2) years. Seven (15.6%) participants presented mobility disability as being unable to complete the 400-meter walk test. According to the frailty phenotype criteria, 25 (55.6%) participants were pre-frail or frail, and 13 (28.9%) were robust. Overall, a substantial agreement of the instrument with the reference tools (kappa = 0.748, quadratic weighted kappa = 0.836, both p values<0.001) was reported with only 7 (15.6%) participants incorrectly categorized. The agreement between results of the FiND disability domain and the 400-meter walk test was excellent (kappa = 0.920, p<0.001). Conclusions/Significance The FiND questionnaire presents a very good capacity to correctly identify frail older persons without mobility disability living in the community. This screening tool may represent an opportunity for diffusing awareness about frailty and disability and supporting specific preventive campaigns.
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