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Prevalence and characteristics of frailty among community-dwelling older people in Japan

Prevalence and characteristics of frailty among community-dwelling older people in Japan

Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. Japanese Journal of Geriatrics 49(3): 344-354

To examine the prevalence and characteristics of frailty in community-dwelling people over 70 years of age. Data collected from in-home interviews conducted in 2001 were used to determine the prevalence of frailty. A total of 916 out of 1,039 older adults responded, and the data of 914 were eligible. Secondly, data collected from a comprehensive health examination undertaken in two areas in 2005 were used to identify the characteristics of frailty. 1,005 older adults participated and the data of 974 were eligible. We used a frailty index (Kaigo-Yobo Checklist) developed by Shinkai et al. (2010) to divide data into Frail and Non-frail groups. The prevalence of frailty was 24.3% for men and 32.4% for women. The prevalence showed a tendency to rapidly increase after age 80 in men and 75 in women. Even after controlling for age, study area, ADL disability and comorbidity, a number of variables showed significant associations with frailty. The results showed poor functional status in physical, mental and social areas in the Frail group. The Frail group was more likely to have comorbid geriatric syndromes than the Non-frail group, such as lower MMSE scores, higher prevalence of depression, higher prevalence of hearing impairment in men, and urinary incontinence and walking impairment in women. In contrast, almost no associations with frailty were detected on routine clinical tests such as blood pressure or blood examination. Overall, frailty was identified as a multifactorial syndrome which was strongly related to other geriatric syndromes. The symptoms of frailty manifested as poor functioning in multiple areas. Routine clinical tests may not be useful for detecting frailty.

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Accession: 055148978

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PMID: 23268977

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