Factors associated with frailty in a community-dwelling population of older adults

<div><p>ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To analyze if demographic and socioeconomic factors and factors related to health and health services are associated with frailty in community-dwelling older adults. METHODS This is a cross-sectional study with 339 older adults (60 years old or more) living in Juiz de Fora, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 2015. A household survey was carried out and frailty was evaluated using the Edmonton Frail Scale. For the analysis of the factors associated with outcome, a theoretical model of determination was constructed with three hierarchical blocks: block 1 with demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, block 2 with the health of the older adult (divided into three sub-levels: 2.1 self-reported health variables, 2.2 self-perceived health variables, and 2.3 geriatric syndromes), and block 3 with characteristics related to health services. The variables were adjusted in relation to each other within each block; those with significance level ≤ 0.20 were included in the Poisson regression model and adjusted to a higher level, considering a level of significance of 5%. RESULTS The prevalence of frailty among older adults was 35.7% (95%CI 30.7–40.9). Of the total, 42.2% did not present frailty; 22.1% were apparently vulnerable. Among the frail ones, 52.9% presented mild frailty, 32.2% moderate frailty, and 14.9% severe frailty. Frailty was associated with difficulty walking, need for an auxiliary device to walk, presence of caregiver, depressive disorders, and functional dependence to perform instrumental activities of daily living. CONCLUSIONS Frailty is frequent among the older population and it is associated with health variables of the three sub-levels that make up block 2 of the theoretical hierarchical model of determination: self-reported health variables, self-perceived health variables, and geriatric syndromes.</p></div>