Recommendations of the Geriatric Cardiology Section of the Spanish Society of Cardiology for the Assessment of Frailty in Elderly Patients With Heart Disease

Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2019 Jan;72(1):63-71. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2018.06.035. Epub 2018 Sep 27.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Frailty is an age-associated clinical syndrome characterized by a decrease in physiological reserve in situations of stress, constituting a state of vulnerability that involves a higher risk of adverse events. Its prevalence in Spain is high, especially in elderly individuals with comorbidity and chronic diseases. In cardiovascular disease, frailty is associated worse clinical outcomes and higher morbidity and mortality in all scenarios, in both acute and chronic settings, and could consequently influence diagnosis and treatment. However, frailty is often not addressed or included when planning the management of elderly patients with heart disease. In this article, we review the available scientific evidence and highlight the most appropriate scales for the measurement and assessment of frailty, some of which are more useful and have better predictive capacity than others, depending on the clinical context. We also underline the importance of properly identifying and assessing frailty in order to include it in the treatment and care plan that best suits each patient.

Keywords: Cardiopatía; Elderly; Fragilidad; Frailty; Heart disease; Paciente anciano.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiology*
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Frailty / epidemiology*
  • Frailty / rehabilitation
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Geriatrics*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Heart Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Spain / epidemiology