Associations between the SHARE frailty phenotype and common frailty characteristics: Evidence from a large Danish population study

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Objectives Frailty is a major clinical geriatric syndrome associated with serious adverse events including functional disability, falls, hospitalisation, increased morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to study associations between a frailty phenotype and frailty characteristics well known from the literature. Design Registry-based cross-sectional study. Setting The target population consists of inhabitants above the age of 50 living in the Danish municipalities of Lolland and Guldborgsund. Excluded are incapacitated people, inhabitants unable to understand Danish or English and inhabitants without a permanent residence. Participants 7327 individuals aged 50+ years were included. Outcome measures We examined associations between the frailty measurement and factors known to be associated with frailty: sex, age, income insufficiency, education, comorbidity, self-assessed health, morbidity and mortality. Results 7327 individuals aged 50+ years were included. Of these, 6.5% had ≥3 frailty components (frail), 46.7% had 1-2 components (prefrail) and 46.9% had none (non-frail). Those who were frail were older and more likely female than those who were non-frail or prefrail. There was a stepwise decrease in educational level, and in self-assessed health with increasing frailty status, and a stepwise increase in difficulty in making ends meet, number of hospital contacts and mortality with increasing frailty status, p<0.0001 for each comparison. Compared with individuals who were non-frail, mortality was higher among those who were prefrail (HR: 2.90; 95% CI: 1.30 to 6.43) or frail (HR: 8.21; 95% CI: 3.37 to 20.0). Conclusions Based on these findings, we consider the Lolland-Falster Health Study frailty assessment a valid instrument demonstrating the same characteristics as other validated frailty measures concerning associations with sex, age, income insufficiency, education, comorbidity, self-assessed health, morbidity and mortality. Trial registration number NCT02482896.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere032597
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • frailty, healthy ageing, physical functional performance

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