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, 24 (2), 147-151

No Difference in the Phenotypic Expression of Frailty Among Elderly Patients Recently Diagnosed With Cancer Vs Cancer Free Patients

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No Difference in the Phenotypic Expression of Frailty Among Elderly Patients Recently Diagnosed With Cancer Vs Cancer Free Patients

K El Haddad et al. J Nutr Health Aging.

Abstract

Objectives: To examine frailty determinants differences in patients with a recent diagnosis of cancer compared to non-cancer patients among older adult. Revealing those differences will allow us to individualize the exact frailty management in those patients diagnosed with cancer.

Design: This is an observational cross-sectional, monocentric study.

Setting: Patients were evaluated at the Geriatric Frailty Clinic (GFC), in the Toulouse University Hospital, France, between October 2011 and February 2016.

Participants: 1996 patients aged 65 and older were included (1578 patients without cancer and 418 patients with solid and hematological cancer recently diagnosed).

Measurements: Frailty was established according to the frailty phenotype. The frailty phenotype measures five components of frailty: weight loss, exhaustion, low physical activity, weakness and slow gait. Frailty phenotype was categorized as robust, pre-frail and frail.

Results: In a multinomial logistic regression, cancer, compared to the non-cancer group, is not associated with an increased likelihood of being classified as pre frail (RRR 0.9, 95% CI [0.5 ; 1.6 ], p 0.9) or frail (RRR 1.2, 95% CI [0.7 ; 2.0], p 0.4) rather than robust. When considering each Fried criterion, a significant higher odd of weight loss was observed in older patients with cancer compared to the non-cancer patients (OR 2.3, 95% CI [1.8; 3.0], p <0.001) but no statistically significant differences was found among the four other Fried criteria. Sensitivity analysis on the frailty index showed that cancer was not associated with a higher FI score compared to non-cancer (β 0.002, 95%CI [-0.009; 0.01], p 0.6).

Conclusion: In this real-life study evaluating elderly patients with and without cancer, we didn't confirm our hypothesis, in fact we found that cancer was not associated with frailty severity using both a phenotypic model and a deficit accumulation approach. Cancer may contribute, at least additively, to the development of frailty, like any other comorbidity, rather than a global underlying condition of vulnerability.

Keywords: Geriatric oncology; elderly; frailty index; frailty phenotype.

Conflict of interest statement

All authors declare no conflict of interest

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