Comparison of frail patients versus nonfrail patients ≥65 years of age undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention

Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jun 1;109(11):1569-75. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.01.384. Epub 2012 Mar 20.


Frailty is a geriatric syndrome characterized by functional impairments and is associated with poor outcomes; however, the prevalence of frailty and its association with health status in patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are unknown. To assess the prevalence of frailty and its association with health status in PCI-treated patients, we studied 629 patients ≥65 years old undergoing PCI from October 2005 through September 2008. Frailty was characterized using the Fried criteria: weight loss >10 lbs. in previous 1 year, exhaustion, low physical activity, poor gait speed, and poor grip strength (3 features = frail; 1 feature to 2 features = intermediate frailty; 0 feature = not frail). Health status was assessed using the Short-Form 36 and the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ). Multivariable linear regression models were used to estimate the independent association between frailty and health status. Complete data on 545 patients demonstrated that 19% (n = 117) were frail, 47% (n = 298) had intermediate frailty, and 21% (n = 130) were not frail. Frail patients had more co-morbidities and more frequent left main coronary artery or multivessel disease after adjusting for age and gender (p <0.05 across groups). Multivariable linear regression demonstrated poorer health status in frail patients compared to nonfrail patients as evidenced by lower Short-Form 36 scores, lower SAQ scores for physical limitation, and lower SAQ scores for quality of life (p <0.001 for each health status domain). In conclusion, 1/5 of older patients are frail at the time of PCI and have greater comorbid burden, angiographic disease severity, and poorer health status than nonfrail adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index