Yonsei Med J.  2021 Mar;62(3):249-254. 10.3349/ymj.2021.62.3.249.

Associations between Frailty in Older Adults and Malnutrition in Rural Areas: 2019 Updated Version of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea
  • 2Center for Farmer's Safety and Health, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea
  • 3Department of Bio & Medical Big Data, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of frailty among an older adult population living in rural communities and to determine if frailty is associated with nutritional status after adjusting for sarcopenia and depression.
Materials and Methods
This research used baseline data from the Namgaram-2 study. Frailty was evaluated using the Kaigo-Yobo checklist in an older Korean population. The nutritional statuses of older people were measured using the Korean version of the mini nutritional assessment (MNA). The recent criteria of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia were applied for diagnosis of sarcopenia, and depression was assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form.
The prevalence of frailty was 18.8% (male: 9.6%; female: 23.4%) and was significantly higher in individuals in their 80s [male, 35.3% (p<0.001); female, 42.3% (p<0.001)], those of poor economic status [male, 18.2% (p=0.012); female, 34.9% (p<0.001)], those with hypertension [female, 27.7% (p=0.008)], those with sarcopenia [male, 34.1% (p<0.001); female, 37.2% (p<0.001)], those with depression [male, 46.4% (p<0.001); female, 51.7% (p<0.001)], and those at high risk of malnutrition [male, 44.4% (p<0.001); female, 51.7% (p<0.001)]. After adjusting for demographic variables, including hypertension, diabetes, sarcopenia and depression, frailty was significantly associated with nutritional status [male: odds ratio (OR)=6.73, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.84–24.65; female: OR=4.83, 95% CI, 2.88–8.11].
For older adults, MNA is a suitable tool of use in assessing both nutritional status and frailty. Moreover, the nutritional status of older adults appears to be associated with frailty, even after corrections for physical and psychological function.


Frailty; sarcopenia; malnutrition; depression; older adult
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