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Effect of frailty status on mortality risk among Chinese community-dwelling older adults: a prospective cohort study

BMC Geriatr. 2023 Mar 18;23(1):150. doi: 10.1186/s12877-023-03759-8.


BACKGROUND: Frailty is associated with mortality among older adults. We aimed to determine the appropriate time and frailty index (FI) threshold for frailty intervention in Chinese community-dwelling older adults.

METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, we used data from the 2011 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Study. Follow-up was performed for seven years from baseline. Using the FI to evaluate frailty and define frailty status, we explored the best time point and FI score for frailty intervention, by comparing the relationships of FI and frailty status with mortality.

RESULTS: From 2011 to 2018, 8642 participants were included and followed-up. A total of 4458 participants died during the study period. After adjusting for variables such as age, sex, marital status, education level, and living conditions, the hazard ratio (HR) of mortality risk based on the FI at baseline was 37.484 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30.217-46.498; P < 0.001); female sex, living in the city, being married, and living with spouse were found to be protective factors, whereas ageing was a risk factor for frailty. The mortality risk was higher in pre-frail than in frail participants (HR: 3.588, 95% CI: 3.212-4.009, P < 0.001). Piecewise linear regression analysis revealed an FI score threshold of 0.5. When the FI score was > 0.5, the HR of mortality based on the FI was 15.758 (95% CI: 3.656-67.924; P < 0.001); when the FI score was ≤ 0.5, the HR of mortality based on the FI was 48.944 (95% CI: 36.162-66.244; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Using FI as a continuous variable to predict death is more accurate than frailty status. The advancement of early interventions for mortality risk reduction is more beneficial in pre-frail than in frail patients, and an FI score of 0.5 was found to be the threshold for mortality prediction using the FI.

PMID:36934220 | DOI:10.1186/s12877-023-03759-8

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