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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 Nov-Dec;55(3):625-31. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.07.002. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Prevalence of frailty and factors associated with frailty in the elderly population of Lleida, Spain: the FRALLE survey.

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Faculty of Nursing at the University of Lleida, Spain.


The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of frailty and to identify factors associated with frailty in older people living in the community through a cross-sectional study of community-dwelling persons age 75 and older. A total of 640 individuals were interviewed using the FRALLE survey between 2009 and 2010. This survey measures frailty through the five Fried criteria, and through questions on sociodemographics, health habits, health status, social relations and data on health-related quality of life. The mean age of the participants was 81.3 ± 5.0; 39.7% were men. The prevalence of frailty was 9.6% (95% confidence interval (CI): 7.6-11.5) and that of pre-frailty was 47% (95% CI: 42.7-51.2). After the logistic regression, age (over 85 years) (odds ratio (OR): 3.61; 95% CI: 1.65-7.91; p<0.001), depressive symptoms (OR: 3.13; 95% CI: 1.37-7.13; p=0.0006), comorbidity (OR: 5.20; 95% CI: 1.78-15.16; p=0.0002), cognitive impairment (OR: 3.22; 95% CI: 1.48-7.02; p=0.0003), poor social ties (OR: 0.57; 95% CI: 0.43-0.77; p<0.001) and poor physical health (OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.97-0.98; p<0.001) were significantly associated with frailty. There is great variability in the prevalence of frailty depending on the study considered. The lack of homogeneity in the measurement of the five criteria, the age of participants and the degree of dependence could explain the differences observed. Here, the factors associated with frailty were age, comorbidity, cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms, while the diversity of social interaction and health-related physical function were protective factors.

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