Clustering of Mental and Physical Comorbidity and the Risk of Frailty in Patients Aged 60 Years or More in Primary Care

Med Sci Monit. 2019 Sep 11;25:6820-6835. doi: 10.12659/MSM.915063.


BACKGROUND This study aimed to identify the clustering of comorbidities, cognitive, and mental factors associated with increased risk of pre-frailty and frailty in patients ≥60 years in a primary healthcare setting in eastern Croatia. MATERIAL AND METHODS There were 159 patients included in the cluster analysis who were ≥60 years and who underwent four-month follow-up. The first cluster contained 50 patients, the second cluster contained 74 patients, and the third cluster contained 35 patients. Clinical parameters were identified from electronic health records and patient questionnaires. Laboratory tests, anthropometric measurements, the number of chronic diseases, the number of prescribed medications were recorded. Frailty was determined using the five criteria of Fried's phenotype -model. Levels of anxiety and depression were recorded using the Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score assessed cognitive impairment. Logistic regression models were used to identify predictors of frailty and pre-frailty. RESULTS Three overlapping clusters of phenotypes predicted frailty, and included obesity (n=50), multimorbidity with mental impairment (n=74), and decline in renal function with cognitive impairment (n=35). The predictors of outcome included increasing age, number of chronic diseases, inflammation, anemia, anxiety, and cognitive impairment, and reduced muscle mass. CONCLUSIONS In patients ≥60 years in a primary healthcare setting, multimorbidity predictors of pre-frailty and frailty included a decline in cognitive function and renal function.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Frailty / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Risk Factors