Aim: We analyzed the cross-sectional and prospective relationships between the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGE), assessed by skin autofluorescence (AF) and frailty and its components.
Methods: A total of 423 participants of the Bordeaux sample of the Three-City study 75 years of age or older in 2009-2010 were included in the cross-sectional analysis. Among them, 255 initially non-frail participants were re-examined 4 years later. Skin AF (arbitrary units (AU)) was measured using the AGE Reader. Frailty was defined using Fried's criteria. Associations were assessed with logistic regression models.
Results: Mean skin AF at baseline was 2.81 ±0.68 AU and 16.8% participants were frail. Adjusted for sociodemographic and health characteristics, skin AF was associated neither with prevalent frailty as a whole (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.2; 95% Confidence Interval: 0.8-1.9) nor with any of its components. Among 255 non-frail participants, 32 became frail over 4 years. In multivariate analyses, skin AF was not associated with incident frailty as a whole (OR = 1.0; 0.5-2.0) but with a doubled risk of incident exhaustion (OR = 2.0; 1.2-3.6) and low energy expenditure (OR = 2.0; 1.1-3.7). No association was observed with other criteria.
Conclusion: In French older community-dwellers aged 75 years and over, the accumulation of AGEs evaluated by skin AF was not associated with prevalent or incident frailty but with the 4-year risk of exhaustion and low energy expenditure. Further studies with larger samples are needed to confirm our results.