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The influence of multiple frailty profiles on institutionalization and all-cause mortality in community-living older adults

Lee, Y  | Kim, E | Yun, J | Chuck, KW
Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle, 13(5). : 2322-2330, 2022
Journal Title
Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle
BACKGROUND: Frailty in older adults is associated with adverse geriatric outcomes. Physical frailty is often accompanied by problems in the cognitive, psychological, and social domains. This study investigated the ability of physical frailty combined with other health domains to predict institutionalization and mortality. METHODS: A national sample of 9171 Koreans aged 65 years or older were surveyed at baseline in 2008 and 3 year follow-up. Those who were prefrail or frail according to the Fried criteria were conceived to have physical frailty. Psychological frailty, cognitive frailty, and social frailty were defined as having depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, and social vulnerabilities, respectively, in addition to physical frailty. Using Cox proportional hazards and competing-risks regression, the risk of mortality and institutionalization by the number and profiles of different frailty domains was analysed. RESULTS: At baseline, the 9171 participants were aged 73.1 (+/-6.8) years on average (median: 72, range: 65 to 103), and 59.2% were women. Multidomain frailty was highly prevalent (49.3%), with 6.1% concurrently displaying frailty in all four domains (mixed frailty). The risk of negative health outcomes increased with frailty in a higher number of domains with a subhazard ratio (SHR) of 3.48 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.83, 6.62; P < 0.001) for institutionalization and a hazard ratio (HR) of 3.95 (95% CI: 2.62, 5.93; P < 0.001) for mortality among those presenting mixed frailty. Psychological frailty (depressive symptoms combined with physical frailty) was strongly predictive of institutionalization (SHR = 2.85; 95% CI: 1.45, 5.59; P = 0.002) and mortality (HR = 2.47; 95% CI: 1.61, 3.78; P < 0.001). When combined with physical frailty and either depressive symptoms or social vulnerabilities, cognitive impairment also exhibited a significantly elevated risk of negative events. Physical frailty alone was not a strong predictor of adverse events, especially for mortality (HR = 1.13; 95% CI: 0.77, 1.67; P = 0.53). CONCLUSIONS: Co-occurrence of physical frailty with other domains is common in late life. The presence of frailty in multiple domains raises the risk of adverse outcomes, with the effects varying by multidimensional profiles.


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