Serum cholesterol levels as a measure of frailty in elderly patients

Exp Aging Res. 1998 Apr-Jun;24(2):169-79. doi: 10.1080/036107398244300.


The authors evaluated the association between serum cholesterol levels and social, clinical, and functional characteristics in 637 elderly hospitalized patients (mean age = 79.1 years, range = 65-97) from the Geriatric Evaluation and Rehabilitation Unit (GERU) at P. Richiedei Hospital in Gussago, Brescia (Italy). Patients consecutively admitted to the GERU during an 18-month period underwent a multidimensional evaluation including information on demographics, cognitive status, physical health (number of chronic diseases and administered drugs), functional disability, and nutritional status. Mean cholesterol levels were significantly lower in men; persons living with others; older individuals; and individuals with cognitive impairment, poorer somatic health, higher disability, and a higher level of malnutrition. Lower serum cholesterol levels may be considered an independent hematologic marker of frailty in elderly hospitalized patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / blood*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cholesterol