Korean J Fam Med.  2009 Aug;30(8):588-597. 10.4082/kjfm.2009.30.8.588.

Correlation between Frailty Level and Disability of the Elderly and Frailty Related Factors

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Hallym University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. lull@hallym.ac.kr


Frailty is a wasting syndrome that presents loss of physiological function by aging, lowering of reserve capacity, and disability of body system. It is currently being considered an important issue in geriatrics. This study examined frailty level of Korean elderly in community and whether frailty can be meaningful a predictive factor for functional disability. METHODS: Demographic characteristics, the number of chronic diseases and medications, cardiovascular health study (CHS) frailty index, study of osteoporotic fractures (SOF) frailty index, activities of daily living, Instrumental activities of daily living, depression, mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and fall history were examined for 302 men and women over 65 years old who visited the three community seniors welfare centers from February 2008 to June 2008. RESULTS: There were definite differences of frailty status by age, educational level, marital status, monthly income, body mass index, the number of chronic diseases, the number of medications, depression, MMSE and fall history (P < 0.05), except in gender (P < 0.432). In logistic regression analysis for functional disability with frailty status defined by SOF frailty index, odds ratio to dependency of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) from the healthy to the prefrail stage increased 6.84 times while from the healthy to the frail stage increased 130.87 times. These effects still increased after covariate adjustment. Also, the CHS frailty index showed the same result although there was some difference in odds ratio. CONCLUSION: There were meaningful correlations of frailty with functional disability when dividing Korean elderly's frailty levels into the healthy, the prefrail and the frail stages.


Elderly; Frailty; Functional Disability; Frailty-related Factors
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