Poor Muscle Strength and Low Physical Activity Are the Most Prevalent Frailty Components in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Objective:

To determine the prevalence of five physical frailty phenotype components and to assess the relationship between them and other clinical factors.

Method:

A population-based cross-sectional study was performed. Subjects 75 years and older were randomly selected from primary care databases (with sampling stratified by gender). Physical frailty phenotypes were assessed using Fried’s criteria. Sociodemographic data, comorbidities, nutritional status, and functional capacity were assessed.

Results:

126 subjects were recruited (47% women). Prevalence rates were poor muscle strength: 50%; low physical activity: 29%; slow gait: 28%; exhaustion: 27%; and weight loss: 5%. Prefrailty and frailty prevalence rates were 35.7% and 29.4%, respectively. Poor muscle strength and low physical activity showed a close relationship and concordance (kappa = 0.92). Most frailty components were associated with outdoor activity, hours walked daily, and certain comorbidities.

Conclusions:

Poor muscle strength was the most prevalent frailty component and was closely associated with physical activity, suggesting that training programs may revert or prevent the frailty process.

Papiol is with ABS Argentona, Consorci Sanitari del Maresme, Barcelona, Spain. Serra-Prat is with the Research Unit, Consorci Sanitari del Maresme and CIBEREHD, ISCIII, both in Barcelona, Spain. Vico is with Research Unit, Consorci Sanitari del Maresme, Barcelona, Spain. Jerez, Salvador, Garcia, Camps, Alpiste, and López are with ABS Cirera-Molins, Consorci Sanitari del Maresme, Barcelona, Spain.

Address author correspondence to M. Serra-Prat at mserra@csdm.cat.