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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2017 Jul 1;18(7):638.e7-638.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.04.011. Epub 2017 Jun 3.

Frailty and Risk of Adverse Outcomes in Hospitalized Older Adults: A Comparison of Different Frailty Measures.

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Department of Geriatric Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore. Electronic address:
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore.
Department of General Medicine, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore.



There is a paucity of data for the assessment of frailty in acutely ill hospitalized older adults. We aim to (1) compare the performance of frailty measures [5-item scale of fatigue, resistance, ambulation, illnesses, and loss of weight) (FRAIL), Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI), and Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS)] in identifying frailty, using the widely adopted Frailty Index (FI) as "gold standard," and (2) compare their ability to predict negative outcomes among hospitalized older adults.


Prospective cohort study.


Acute inpatient care.


A total of 210 patients (mean age 89.4 ± 4.6 years, 69.5% female) admitted to the Department of Geriatric Medicine.


Premorbid frailty status was assessed by FI, FRAIL, TFI, and CFS. We collected data on comorbidities, severity of illness, functional status, and cognitive status. We compared area under receiver operator characteristic curves for FRAIL, TFI, and CFS against the reference FI. Multiple logistic regression was performed to examine the association between frailty and the primary outcome of in-hospital mortality.


Frailty prevalence estimates were 87.1% (FI), 50% (FRAIL), 80% (TFI), and 81% (CFS). Area under receiver operator characteristics against FI ranged from 0.81 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72-0.90: FRAIL] to 0.91 (95% CI 0.87-0.95: CFS), with no significant difference on receiver operating characteristic curve contrast. Frailty, as defined by FRAIL score ≥3, was associated with higher in-hospital mortality (6.7% vs 1.0%, P = .031) and length of hospitalization [10 days (6.0-17.5) vs 8 days (5.0-14.0), P = .043]. FI [odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, 95% CI 1.00-1.33, P = .05], FRAIL (OR = 3.31, 95% CI 1.43-7.67, P = .005), and CFS (OR = 2.57, 95% CI 1.14-5.83, P = .023) independently predicted in-hospital mortality adjusted for age, sex, and severity of illness.


FRAIL and CFS are simple frailty measures that may identify older adults at highest risk of adverse outcomes of hospitalization. FRAIL performed better in predicting in-hospital mortality.


Frailty; acute; geriatric; inpatient; risk

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