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Diana Castaneda-Gameros, Sabi Redwood and Janice L. Thompson

Due to the burgeoning aging population, there is an increased focus on strategies to improve older adults’ health and well-being ( Rechel et al., 2013 ). Increased prevalence of chronic diseases and age-related physical decline often results in high levels of frailty among older adults

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M. Papiol, M. Serra-Prat, J. Vico, N. Jerez, N. Salvador, M. Garcia, M. Camps, X. Alpiste and J. López

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.

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Judith Godin, Joanna M. Blodgett, Kenneth Rockwood and Olga Theou

Researchers have examined the connection between different intensities of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and frailty ( Kehler et al., 2018 ). What has received less attention is that increasing time spent in one type of activity inherently means decreasing time spent in another type of

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Margaret K. Danilovich, David E. Conroy and T. George Hornby

Frailty, a syndrome of increased vulnerability resulting in a decline in physiological reserve and function, is a key health issue affecting older adults ( Fried et al., 2001 ). Using the phenotypic frailty criteria, individuals are classified as frail upon meeting three of five criteria, including

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Sabrine N. Costa, Edgar R. Vieira and Paulo C. B. Bento

Frailty is a clinical syndrome that puts people at a state of vulnerability to poor restoration of homeostasis after a stressor event ( Fried et al., 2001 ). It is a consequence of cumulative decline in many age-related physiological systems ( Clegg, Young, Iliffe, Rikkert, & Rockwood, 2013

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Pedro Lopez, Mikel Izquierdo, Regis Radaelli, Graciele Sbruzzi, Rafael Grazioli, Ronei Silveira Pinto and Eduardo Lusa Cadore

The frailty syndrome affects up to 38% of the older population, leading to health impairments and consequences in social life ( Fried et al., 2001 ). Frailty is a complex interaction between physical variables, and there are different definitions in the literature ( Abellan Van Kan et al., 2008

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Alessandra de Carvalho Bastone, Eduardo Ferriolli, Claudine Patricia Teixeira, João Marcos Domingues Dias and Rosângela Corrêa Dias

Background:

Self-reported measures of decreased aerobic fitness and low physical activity are criteria of frailty. However, research assessing aerobic fitness and physical activity levels associated with frailty is limited. Therefore, the aims of this study were to objectively assess the aerobic fitness and the physical activity level of frail and nonfrail elderly, and to examine the association between frailty, aerobic fitness and habitual physical activity.

Methods:

This study included 26 elderly (66 to 86 years), randomly selected. The groups (frail/nonfrail) were age and sex paired. Peak oxygen consumption, maximal walking distance and speed were assessed during the incremental shuttle walk test (ISWT). Average daily time spent in sedentary, light, moderate and hard activity, counts, number of steps and energy expenditure were measured by accelerometry.

Results:

All variables measured by the ISWT and accelerometer differed significantly between the groups (P < .02). All aerobic fitness and physical activity variables were significantly associated with frailty, independent of the number of chronic health conditions (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Frailty is associated with low peak oxygen consumption and low physical activity level. These findings could guide future clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of aerobic exercises in the prevention and treatment of frailty.

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Laura S. Ho, Harriet G. Williams and Emily A.W. Hardwick

The study’s objective was to examine the health status, physical activity behaviors, and performance-based functional abilities of individuals classified as being at high or low risk for frailty and to determine which of these characteristics discriminates between the 2 groups. Participants were 78 community-dwelling individuals with an average age of 74 years; 37 were categorized as being at high risk and 42 at low risk for frailty. Logistic-regression analysis indicated that individuals classified as being at high risk for frailty were more likely to have visited the doctor more than 3 times in the past year, experienced a cardiac event, taken more than 4 medications a day, and participated in little or no physical activity. High-risk individuals were more likely to have poor balance, difficulty with mobility, decreased range of motion, poor unimanual dexterity, and difficulty performing activities of daily living than were those classified as being at low risk for frailty.

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Maria Giné-Garriga, Míriam Guerra, Esther Pagès, Todd M. Manini, Rosario Jiménez and Viswanath B. Unnithan

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a 12-wk functional circuit-training program (FCT) could alter markers of physical frailty in a group of frail community-dwelling adults. Fifty-one individuals (31 women, 20 men), mean age (± SD) 84 (± 2.9) yr, met frailty criteria and were randomly assigned into groups (FCT = 26, control group [CG] = 25). FCT underwent a 12-wk exercise program. CG met once a week for health education meetings. Measures of physical frailty, function, strength, balance, and gait speed were assessed at Weeks 0, 12, and 36. Physical-frailty measures in FCT showed significant (p < .05) improvements relative to those in CG (Barthel Index at Weeks 0 and 36: 73.41 (± 2.35) and 77.0 (± 2.38) for the FCT and 70.79 (± 2.53) and 66.73 (± 2.73) for the CG. These data indicate that an FCT program is effective in improving measures of function and reducing physical frailty among frail older adults.

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Edward Archer, Amanda E. Paluch, Robin P. Shook and Steven N. Blair

Successful aging encompasses more than just the prevention of disease and disability; the truly well-lived life is demonstrated by a sense of vitality and independence, freedom from bodily pain, and the continued involvement in meaningful activities. While physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors accelerate the aging process, deliberate exercise and other forms of activity delay and/or prevent the onset of age-related pathologies such as frailty, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and cardiovascular disease. This review surveys the evidence that supports the position that physical activity is a necessary component for the development and maintenance of the physiological resources that are foundational to physical and cognitive functioning and ‘living well’ in one's later years.