Predictors of Maintained Transitions Between Robustness and Prefrailty in Community-Dwelling Older Spaniards

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023 Jan;24(1):57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2022.10.010. Epub 2022 Nov 17.


Objectives: We aimed to explore predictors of sustained transitions (those that are maintained for an extra follow-up) between robustness and prefrailty in both directions.

Design: Longitudinal population-based cohort.

Setting and participants: Community-dwelling Spaniards 65 years or older from the Toledo Study of Healthy Ageing.

Methods: The Fried's frailty phenotype was measured over 3 waves (2006-2009, 2011-2013, and 2014-2017). Multiple logistic regressions compared individuals following the pattern robust-prefrail-prefrail with those who remained robust across waves, and those following the pattern prefrail-robust-robust with those who remained prefrail, for sociodemographic, clinical, life-habits, dependency for activities of daily living, upper and lower extremities' strength variables. The Fried's items of those who remained prefrail and those who became robust were compared.

Results: Mean age was 72.3 years (95% CI: 71.8-72.8) and 57.9% (52.7%-63.0%) were women. After multivariate adjustment, predictors (apart from age) of the sustained transition robustness-prefrailty were as follows: number of drugs taken (odds ratio: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.14-1.65), not declaring the amount of alcohol consumed (8.32; 1.78-38.88), and grip strength (0.92 per kg; 0.86-0.99). Predictors of the sustained transition prefrailty-robustness were as follows: drinking alcohol (0.2; 0.05-0.83), uricemia (0.67; 0.49-0.93), number of chair stands in 30 seconds (1.14; 1.01-1.28), and grip strength (1.12; 1.05-1.2). Low grip strength was associated with a lower probability of regaining robustness.

Conclusions and implications: Prediction of sustained transitions between the first stages of frailty development can be achieved with a reduced number of variables and noting whether the Fried's item leading to a diagnosis of prefrailty is low grip strength. Our results suggest the need to intensify interventions on deprescription, quitting alcohol, and strengthening of upper and lower limbs.

Keywords: Frailty; cohort; predictors; trajectories; transitions.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly
  • Frailty* / diagnosis
  • Frailty* / epidemiology
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Male