Weakness: The most frequent criterion among pre-frail and frail older Portuguese.

Archives of gerontology and geriatrics

PubMedID: 29112877

Sousa-Santos AR, Afonso C, Moreira P, Padrão P, Santos A, Borges N, Amaral TF. Weakness: The most frequent criterion among pre-frail and frail older Portuguese. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2017;74162-168.
In Portugal, the burden of pre-frailty and frailty in community-dwelling older adults is still unknown. The purpose of this study is to estimate the frequency of frailty in a Portuguese sample with?=?65years and to evaluate its associated factors. We also intend to identify which criterion has more impact on the diagnosis of frailty.

1457 older adults with?=?65years from the Nutrition UP 65 study were evaluated in a cross-sectional analysis. Frailty was identified according to Fried et al. by the presence of three or more of the following factors: unintentional weight loss, self-reported exhaustion, slowness, weakness and low physical activity. Pre-frailty was defined as the presence of one or two of these criteria. The association between individuals' characteristics and frailty status was analysed through logistic regression analysis.

The frequency of pre-frailty and frailty is 54.3% and 21.5%, respectively. In older adults classified as pre-frail or frail, 76.7% presented weakness and 48.6% exhaustion. In multivariate analyses, frailty was associated with age >75, lower education level, being single, divorced or widower, being professionally inactive, poor self-perception of health status, not drinking alcohol, being obese and undernourished or at undernutrition risk.

This condition is very prevalent in Portuguese older adults, one fifth are frail whereas half are pre-frail. Weakness identified by low handgrip strength is the most prevalent criterion in pre-frail and frail Portuguese older adults.