Ann Geriatr Med Res.  2020 Sep;24(3):204-210. 10.4235/agmr.20.0058.

Older Men Living with Spouse and Older Women Living with Spouse and Children Have Lower Frailty Prevalence: The Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study (KFACS)

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Biomedical Science and Technology, East-West Medical Research Institute, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Elderly Frailty Research Center, Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
In older adults, the risk of frailty is higher among those who are unmarried than among those who are married. However, no study has reported about the relationship between cohabitation status and frailty.
Methods
This cross-sectional study included 2,128 community-dwelling adults aged between 70 and 84 years who underwent interviews and physical function assessments for the Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study. The definition of frailty was derived from the Fried frailty phenotype. Cohabitation was categorized as “living alone”, “with spouse only”, “with children only”, and “with spouse and children”.
Results
The mean age was 76 years, and 46.3% of the adults were men. After adjusting for age, education, income, nutritional status, alcohol, smoking history, Geriatric Depression Scale, Mini-Mental State Examination, Korean Activities of Daily Living, Korean Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, urinary incontinence, and polypharmacy, the odds ratios of frailty were 0.323 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.137–0.763; p<0.001) and 1.089 (95% CI, 0.671–1.769; p=0.730) for men and women living with a spouse, respectively. The odds ratios of frailty were 0.329 (95% CI, 0.117–0.927; p=0.035) and 0.332 (95% CI, 0.123–0.891; p=0.029) for men and women living with spouse and children, respectively.
Conclusion
Men living with a spouse or with a spouse and children had a lowered prevalence of frailty, and women living with a spouse and children together had a lowered prevalence of frailty.

Keyword

Cohabitant; Frailty; Korean; Older adults; Spouses
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