The national burden of frailty and disproportionate distribution of its components-the predominance of slow gait speed: a 2018-19 face-to-face epidemiologic assessment representative of population of older Poles
Aging Clin Exp Res. Karolina Piotrowicz et al.
Background: The prevalence of frailty and its components may be affected by age, diseases and geriatric deficits. However, the current operational definition of frailty assigns equal weight to the five components of frailty.
Aims: To perform a population-based assessment of physical frailty, its prevalence, and distribution of its components across different age, disease and deficit spectrum.
Methods: From 2018 to 2019, we conducted a face-to-face cross-sectional assessment of a representative sample of older Poles. We obtained data on frailty components, chronic disease burden, and prevalence of particular diseases and geriatric deficits. We calculated weighted population estimates, representative of 8.5 million older Poles, of prevalence of frailty and its components across the disease burden, associated with the particular diseases and the geriatric deficits present.
Results: Of 10,635 screened persons ≥ 60 years, 5987 entered the face-to-face assessment. Data of 5410 have been used for the present analysis. Seventy-two percent of the population are burdened with at least one frailty component. The estimated weighted population prevalence (95% CI) of frailty was 15.9% (14.6-17.1%), and of pre-frailty 55.8% (53.3-58.2%). Slow gait speed predominated across disease burden, specific diseases, geriatric deficits and the age spectrum. Overall, the prevalence of slow gait speed was 56.3% (52.7-60.0%), followed by weakness 26.9% (25.4-28.4%), exhaustion 19.2% (17.6-20.8%), low physical activity 16.5% (14.8-18.3%), and weight loss 9.4% (8.4-10.3%).
Conclusions: Slow gait speed predominates among the components of frailty in older Poles. This may affect the component-tailored preventive and therapeutic actions to tackle frailty.