A “snap-shot” visual estimation of health and objectively measured frailty: capturing general health in aging older women

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Background: In clinic, a subjective visual estimation of a patient’s general health often guides interventions, yet little is known of how this assessment relates to objectively measured frailty. Aims: To characterize the relationship between these two assessments and explore the implication of discordance. Methods: The study was performed in the OPRA cohort of 75-year old community-dwelling women (n = 1044). Visual perception of health (VPH) was estimated within 15 s from first sight and stratified into tertiles (poor/intermediate/good health). Frailty was measured using a frailty index (FI) (scored 0.0–1.0) and stratified into tertiles: ‘frail’ (≥ 0.22), ‘pre-frail’ (0.13–0-21) and ‘non-frail’ (≤ 0.12). Association between VPH and FI and with 10-year mortality was evaluated using Kaplan Meier curves and Cox proportional hazard models. Results: VPH and FI correlated, but was strongest in those perceived to be in poor health (rs = 0.424, p < 0.001). Approximately half of these women were also objectively frail (53.7%). Similarly, 50.7% perceived to be in good health were also objectively non-frail. However, for one in ten, perceived health was discordant with measured frailty. Subjective and objective measures were associated with mortality, but VPH lacked discrimination in healthier looking women (p = 0.372) compared to FI (p = 0.002). Discussion: Detecting pre-frailty is important to prevent or slow the transition into a frail state. The frailest can be identified with a visual estimation, but only objective frailty assessments can reliably identity pre-frailty. Conclusions: A visual estimation of health provides valuable complementary information on health, whereas objective assessment of frailty has a broader applicability for health in aging.

Sidor (från-till)1663-1671
TidskriftAging clinical and experimental research
Tidigt onlinedatum2022
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Geriatrik


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