Frailty in patients admitted to hospital for acute coronary syndrome: when, how and why?

J Geriatr Cardiol. 2019 Feb;16(2):129-137. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2019.02.005.


Frailty is an issue of paramount importance for cardiologists, because of the aging of patients admitted to hospital for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and the straight relationship between aging and frailty. Several tools have been provided in this setting, in order to objectively assess frailty status, but important questions are still unsolved. There are conflicting data about a unique definition of frailty in subjects with cardiovascular diseases, the timing to perform a frailty evaluation in the context of an acute myocardial infarction, the mean to assess frailty in these patients and the usefulness of the information derived from the frailty assessment. Frailty results from the analysis of several items and a multidomain evaluation including laboratory values, clinical data and physical performance assessment is required for a comprehensive frailty assessment. However, regardless of the frailty tool, the prevalence of frailty in older ACS patients is high and it could add important information to the decision-making process about invasive strategy, the multivessel disease management, dual antiplatelet therapy and secondary prevention programs. The present overview tries to summarize the current knowledge about the definition and prevalence of frailty in older adults admitted to hospital for ACS, suggesting how frailty assessment may improve the management of older ACS patients.

Keywords: Acute coronary syndrome; Frailty; The elderly.

Publication types

  • Review