Prevalence of Physical Frailty and Its Multidimensional Risk Factors in Korean Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Findings from Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 27;17(21):7883. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17217883.


Frailty is defined as a state of increased vulnerability to stressors, and it predicts disability and mortality in the older population. This study aimed to investigate the standardized prevalence and multidimensional risk factors associated with frailty among Korean community-dwelling older adults. We analyzed the baseline data of 2907 adults aged 70-84 years (mean age 75.8 ± 3.9 years, 57.8% women) in the Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study. The Fried frailty phenotype was used to define frailty. Analyzed data included sociodemographic, physical, physical function, biological, lifestyle, health condition, medical condition, psychological, and social domains. Data were standardized using the national standard population composition ratio based on the Korean Population and Housing Census. The standardized prevalence of frailty and prefrailty was 7.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.8-8.9%) and 47.0% (95% CI, 45.1-48.8%), respectively. The following 14 risk factors were significantly associated with frailty: at risk of malnutrition, sarcopenia, severe mobility limitation, poor social capital, rural dwellers, depressive symptoms, poor self-perceived health, polypharmacy, elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, elevated glycosylated hemoglobin, low 25-hydroxy vitamin D level, longer Timed Up and Go, and low Short Physical Performance Battery score (p < 0.05). Physiconutritional, psychological, sociodemographic, and medical factors are strongly associated with frailty.

Keywords: community-dwelling older adults; physical frailty; prevalence; risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't