Frailty in Elderly People

Lancet. 2013 Mar 2;381(9868):752-62. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62167-9. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Abstract

Frailty is the most problematic expression of population ageing. It is a state of vulnerability to poor resolution of homoeostasis after a stressor event and is a consequence of cumulative decline in many physiological systems during a lifetime. This cumulative decline depletes homoeostatic reserves until minor stressor events trigger disproportionate changes in health status. In landmark studies, investigators have developed valid models of frailty and these models have allowed epidemiological investigations that show the association between frailty and adverse health outcomes. We need to develop more efficient methods to detect frailty and measure its severity in routine clinical practice, especially methods that are useful for primary care. Such progress would greatly inform the appropriate selection of elderly people for invasive procedures or drug treatments and would be the basis for a shift in the care of frail elderly people towards more appropriate goal-directed care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over / physiology
  • Aging / physiology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Endocrine System / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Services for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Models, Biological