Association of frailty syndrome in the elderly with higher blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors

Am J Hypertens. 2012 Nov;25(11):1156-61. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2012.99. Epub 2012 Jul 19.


Background: Few studies have evaluated blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular risk in older persons with frailty syndrome. The objective of the present study was to assess the cardiovascular risk factors of subjects with frailty syndrome with emphasis on BP, as compared with individuals without frailty or with prefrailty.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which 77 frail, prefrail, and nonfrail older subjects were selected according to the criteria of Fried et al.: self-reported weight loss, low grip strength, low energy, slow gait speed, and low physical activity. Anthropometric and BP measurements were obtained in the office, and home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) were also performed. Fasting glucose and plasma lipids were collected. Data were analyzed by linear fixed effects model and ANOVA.

Results: Mean age was 74.5 ± 7.5 years. There was no difference in office BP or HBPM between groups, but ABPM of frail group demonstrated higher systolic and diastolic BP values over the 24 h (135/74 mm Hg, P = 0.02 and P = 0.04) and during sleep (135/74 mm Hg, P = 0.01 and P = 0.02) than nonfrail group (122/68 mm Hg and 120/67 mm Hg, respectively). Body mass index and fasting glucose were similar among groups, although abdominal circumference was greater (P = 0.04) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) were lower (P = 0.03) in the frail group than nonfrail one (P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Subjects with frailty syndrome had higher BP evaluated by ABPM and other cardiovascular risk factors such as lower HDL and more abdominal fat than nonfrailty group.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Syndrome
  • Waist Circumference


  • Lipoproteins, HDL