A roadmap of aging in Russia: the prevalence of frailty in community-dwelling older adults in the St. Petersburg district--the "Crystal" study

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Jun;59(6):980-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03448.x. Epub 2011 Jun 7.


Objectives: To categorize the health problems of older Russians and identify the number of frail older adults using different approaches.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: The Kolpino district of St. Petersburg.

Participants: A random sample of 611 community-dwelling adults aged 65 and older was selected from a population-based register and stratified into two age groups (65-74, ≥75).

Measurements: Anthropometry, medical history, nutritional status, Physical Performance Battery, activities of daily living, grip strength, spirometry, renal function, 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale, Mini-Mental State Examination, and sense of coherence.

Results: The female:male ratio was 2.5:1; 19% were malnourished or at risk for malnutrition, and 78.6% presented with one to three chronic pathologies, with no differences according to age or sex. Problems with hearing (60.7%), vision (89.5%), and incontinence (40.9%) were highly prevalent. Moreover, 25.9% of the younger group (65-74) and 42.5% of the older group (≥75) were found to be at risk for depression. Mild to severe cognitive impairment was found in 34.5% of the participants, and 14.4% of those aged 65 to 74 and 33.0% of those aged 75 and older reported dependence in daily living activities. The prevalence of frailty assessed using different models varied from 21.1% to 43.9%. The Fried model revealed the strongest associations with the frailty outcomes (dependence and performance). No significant differences between the sexes were found in either age group (P=.82), although the percentage of frail women increased with age (P=.001).

Conclusion: The findings emphasize the need for attention and resources to be shifted from disease-oriented to functional approaches in the older Russian population. The population studied is consistent with the Fried model, in which one in five older adults can be labeled as frail.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Russia
  • Sex Factors
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*