Prevalence and population characteristics associated with frailty in a rural low socioeconomic area in Denmark: the Lolland-Falster Health Study

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Background Frailty is a major geriatric syndrome that predicts increased vulnerability to minor stressor events and adverse outcomes such as falls, fractures, disability and death. The prevalence of frailty among individuals above the age of 65 varies widely with an overall weighted prevalence of 10.7%. Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of prefrailty and frailty in community-dwelling older adults from the regions of Lolland-Falster, which is one of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas of Denmark with lower income and lower life expectancy compared with the general Danish population. Moreover, the objective was to find selected individual characteristics associated with frailty. Design An observational, cross-sectional registry-based population study with data from the regions of Lolland-Falster collected between February 2016 and February 2020. Results The study included 19 000 individuals. There were 10 154 above the age of 50 included for analysis. Prevalence of frailty in the age group of 50–64 years was 4.7% and 8.7% in the age group of 65 years and above. The study demonstrates associations between frailty and high age, female gender, low education level, low income, smoking, living alone, frequency of seeing one’s children and getting help when needed. These associations are comparable with findings from other studies. Conclusion The syndrome of frailty consists of not only physiological and medical issues but also education, life conditions such as living alone and living in poverty and how you evaluate your own health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere073754
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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