Frailty and cardiovascular risk in community-dwelling elderly: a population-based study
Natalia Aquaroni Ricci,1 Germane Silva Pessoa,1 Eduardo Ferriolli,2 Rosangela Correa Dias,3 Monica Rodrigues Perracini1
1Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Physical Therapy, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo (UNICID), São Paulo, 2Faculty of Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, 3Department of Physiotherapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Background: Evidence suggests a possible bidirectional connection between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the frailty syndrome in older people.
Purpose: To verify the relationship between CVD risk factors and the frailty syndrome in community-dwelling elderly.
Methods: This population-based study used data from the Fragilidade em Idosos Brasileiros (FIBRA) Network Study, a cross-sectional study designed to investigate frailty profiles among Brazilian older adults. Frailty status was defined as the presence of three or more out of five of the following criteria: unintentional weight loss, weakness, self-reported fatigue, slow walking speed, and low physical activity level. The ascertained CVD risk factors were self-reported and/or directly measured hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, waist circumference measurement, and smoking.
Results: Of the 761 participants, 9.7% were characterized as frail, 48.0% as pre-frail, and 42.3% as non-frail. The most prevalent CVD risk factor was hypertension (84.4%) and the lowest one was smoking (10.4%). It was observed that among those participants with four or five risk factors there was a higher proportion of frail and pre-frail compared with non-frail (Fisher’s exact test: P=0.005; P=0.021). Self-reported diabetes mellitus was more prevalent among frail and pre-frail participants when compared with non-frail participants (Fisher’s exact test: P≤0.001; P≤0.001). There was little agreement between self-reported hypertension and hypertension identified by blood pressure measurement.
Conclusion: Hypertension was highly prevalent among the total sample. In addition, frail and pre-frail older people corresponded to a substantial proportion of those with more CVD risk factors, especially diabetes mellitus, highlighting the need for preventive strategies in order to avoid the co-occurrence of CVD and frailty.
Keywords: frailty syndrome, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, aged
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