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J Nutr Health Aging. 2010 Apr;14(4):278-81.

Comparison of two frailty measures in the Conselice Study of Brain Ageing.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Cardioangiology, and Hepatology, University Hospital Sant'Orsola-Malpighi, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.



Uncertainty about the definition of frailty is reflected by the development of many ways to identify frail people. We aimed to compare the validity of two frailty measures in participants of the Conselice Study of Brain Aging.


Prospective population-based study with 4 year follow up.


1,016 subjects aged 65 and over in a rural Italian population.


For each participant, a Frailty Index (FI) and a Conselice Study of Brain Aging Score (CSBAS) were determined. The FI was created from 43 deficits according to a standardized methodology; 7 variables derived from a previously validated Easy Prognostic Score comprised the CSBAS.


The FI had characteristic properties described in other population samples, with a gamma distribution, a 99% limit of about 0.64 and higher values in women than men. CSBAS and FI were strongly correlated with each other (r = 0.72) and both correlated with age (r = 0.32, r = 0.27, respectively). Each was independently predictive of death in a multivariate model, with greater specificity and sensitivity than age alone.


Frailty can be measured by different tools and facilitates a more direct quantification of individual vulnerability than chronological age alone. Though the Frailty Index and the Conselice Study of Brain Aging Score are underpinned by different rationales, clinical utility will continue to motivate their development.

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