Frailty Is Associated with Impaired Quality of Life and Falls in Middle-Aged and Older European Men.
O'Connell MDL., Tajar A., O'Neill TW., Roberts SA., Lee DM., Pye SR., Silman AJ., Finn JD., Bartfai G., Boonen S., Casanueva FF., Forti G., Giwercman A., Han TS., Huhtaniemi IT., Kula K., Lean MEJ., Pendleton N., Punab M., Vanderschueren D., Wu FCW.
OBJECTIVES: Adapt a measure of frailty for use in a cohort study of European men and explore relationships with age, health related quality of life and falls. DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: 8 European centers. PARTICIPANTS: 3047 men aged 40-79 participating in the European Male Ageing Study (EMAS). MEASUREMENTS: Frailty was assessed using an adaptation of the Cardiovascular Health Study criteria. Health related quality of life was evaluated using the Rand Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire which comprises both mental and physical component scores. Self reported falls in the preceding 12 months were recorded at 2-year follow-up. RESULTS: 78 men (2.6%) were classified as frail (≥3 criteria) and 821 (26.9%) as prefrail (1-2 criteria). The prevalence of frailty increased from 0.1% in men aged 40-49 up to 6.8% in men aged 70-79. Compared to robust men, both prefrail and frail men had lower health related quality of life. Frailty was more strongly associated with the physical than mental subscales of the SF-36. Frailty was associated with higher risk of falls OR (95% CI) 2.92 (1.52, 5.59). CONCLUSIONS: Frailty, assessed by the EMAS criteria, increased in prevalence with age and was related to poorer health related quality of life and higher risk of falls in middle-aged and older European men. These criteria may help to identify a vulnerable subset of older men.