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Frailty syndrome in ambulatory patients with COPD

Authors Limpawattana P, Putraveephong S, Inthasuwan P, Boonsawat W, Theerakulpisut D, Chindaprasirt J

Received 8 February 2017

Accepted for publication 22 March 2017

Published 18 April 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1193—1198


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Panita Limpawattana,1 Siraphong Putraveephong,2 Pratchaya Inthasuwan,2 Watchara Boonsawat,3 Daris Theerakulpisut,4 Jarin Chindaprasirt5

1Division of Geriatric Medicine, 2Department of Internal Medicine, 3Division of Respiratory System, Department of Internal Medicine, 4Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, 5Division of Oncology Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Abstract: Frailty is a state of increased risk of unfavorable outcomes when exposed to stressors, and COPD is one of the several chronic illnesses associated with the condition. However, few studies have been conducted regarding the prevalence of COPD and its related factors in Southeast Asia. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of frailty in COPD patients and to identify the associated factors in these populations. A cross-sectional study of COPD patients who attended a COPD clinic was conducted from May 2015 to December 2016. Baseline characteristics were collected, and the diagnosis of frailty was based on the FRAIL (fatigue, resistance, ambulation, illnesses, and loss of weight) scale. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze baseline data. Factors associated with frailty were analyzed using univariate and multivariate regression analyses. The results showed that the prevalence rates of frailty and pre-frailty were 6.6% (eight out of 121 cases) and 41.3% (50 out of 121 cases), respectively, among COPD patients. Fatigue was the most common component of the FRAIL scale that was found more frequently in frail patients than in non-frail patients (odds ratio [OR] 91.9). Factors associated with frailty according to multivariate analyses were comorbid cancer (adjusted OR [AOR] 45.8), at least two instances of nonelective admission over the past 12 months (AOR 112.5), high waist circumference (WC) (AOR 1.3), and presence of sarcopenia (AOR 29.5). In conclusion, frailty affected 6.6% of stable COPD patients. Cancer, two or more instances of nonelective hospitalization over the past 12 months, high WC, and presence of sarcopenia were associated with frailty. Early identification and intervention in high-risk patients is recommended to prevent or delay the adverse outcomes of frailty.

Keywords: frailty syndrome, FRAIL scale, chronic lung disease, sarcopenia

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