Frailty is generally assumed to be a natural corollary to aging. But, a new Australian study suggests that frailty is not just an inevitable part of aging, but may be a medical condition. It says that “although not necessarily synonymous with aging, frailty is highly prevalent among older people”.
The systematic review and meta-analysis published August 2, 2019 in JAMA Network Open concluded that community-living older adults, especially women, are prone to developing frailty and prefrailty.
Data from more than 120 000 older adults from 28 countries was analysed. The incidence of frailty and prefrailty was estimated at 43.4 and 150.6 new cases per 1000 person-years, respectively.
· The incidence of frailty was significantly higher in prefrail individuals than robust individuals (62.7 vs 12.0 cases per 1000 person-years, respectively).
· The frailty and prefrailty incidence rates were significantly higher in women than men (frailty: 44.8 vs 24.3 cases per 1000 person-years; prefrailty: 173.2 vs 129.0 cases per 1000 person-years).
Frailty is associated with adverse health outcomes, such as falls, disability and death. Older adults should be regularly screened for frailty for timely interventions. Awareness of the risk factors for frailty in older adults is important so that appropriate interventions can be designed to prevent frailty and to minimize its consequences.
(Source: JAMA Network Open, August 2, 2019)
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