Identifying frailty in hospitalized older adults with significant coronary artery disease

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Nov;54(11):1674-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00914.x.


Objectives: To characterize physiological variation in hospitalized older adults with severe coronary artery disease (CAD) and evaluate the prevalence of frailty in this sample, to determine whether single-item performance measures are good indicators of multidimensional frailty, and to estimate the association between frailty and 6-month mortality.

Design: Observational cohort study.

Setting: Inpatient hospital cardiology ward.

Participants: Three hundred nine consecutive inpatients aged 70 and older admitted to a cardiology service (n = 309; 70% male, 84% white) with minimum two-vessel CAD determined using cardiac catheterization.

Measurements: Two standard frailty phenotypes (Composite A and Composite B), usual gait speed, grip strength, chair stands, cardiology clinical variables, and 6-month mortality.

Results: Prevalence of frailty was 27% for Composite A versus 63% for Composite B. Utility of single-item measures for identifying frailty was greatest for gait speed (receiver operating characteristic curve c statistic = 0.89 for Composite A, 0.70 for Composite B) followed by chair-stands (c = 0.83, 0.66) and grip strength (c = 0.78, 0.57). After adjustment, composite scores and single-item measures were individually associated with higher mortality at 6 months. Slow gait speed (< or =0.65 m/s) and poor grip strength (< or =25 kg) were stronger predictors of 6-month mortality than either composite score (gait speed odds ratio (OR)=3.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-13.1; grip strength OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 0.7-10.0; Composite A OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 0.60-6.1; chair-stand OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 0.5-5.1; Composite B OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 0.3-5.2).

Conclusion: Gait speed frailty was the strongest predictor of mortality in a population with CAD and may add to traditional risk assessments when predicting outcomes in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity