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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Jan;66(1):157-160. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15204. Epub 2018 Jan 4.

Simple Method of Screening for Frailty in Older Adults Using a Chronometer and Tape Measure in Clinic.

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Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Detecting frailty in older adults scheduled for surgery is important to predict the occurrence of adverse outcomes, but because of its complexity, frailty screening is not commonly performed. The objective of the current study was to assess whether frailty can be screened for using automatically measured usual gait speed (UGS) and mid-arm circumference (MAC) in the outpatient clinic.


Prospective, cross-sectional study.


Geriatric center of a tertiary hospital.


Outpatients aged 65 and older (N = 113).


Frailty status was evaluated according to a multidimensional frailty score (MFS) using a comprehensive geriatric assessment, and participants were classified into 5 categories. UGS was evaluated by having participants walk through the clinic using an automated laser-gated chronometer. MAC was recorded using a tape measure on a blood pressure cuff. Correlations between these two physical measurements and MFS were assessed.


The mean age of the 93 participants who successfully underwent UGS evaluation was 75.8 ± 4.7; 35 were male. In this population, the mean Charlson Comorbidity Index was 2.2 ± 1.4, mean MFS was 4.1 ± 2.0, and 20 participants were considered to be at high risk of experiencing adverse outcomes. Mean UGS was 0.75 ± 0.16 m/s, and mean MAC was 31.2 ± 1.9 cm); both physical parameters were correlated with MFS (UGS: standardized beta = -0.420, P < .001; MAC: standardized beta = -0.457, P < .001). Using UGS and MFS, the area under curve of receiver operating curve for determining which participants were at high risk of experiencing adverse outcomes was 0.809 (P < .001).


UGS and MAC are viable methods of clinically screening for frailty.


arm circumference; frail elderly; screening; walking speed

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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