Frailty is not an inevitable result of ageing
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), led by researchers from Monash University, Australia concluded that frailty is a medical condition and not an inevitable result of the ageing process.
This is the first global study to estimate the likelihood of older individuals becoming frail. Researchers analyzed data from 46 studies of more than 120,000 individuals across 28 countries. Currently there is no ‘gold standard’ definition of frailty so the researchers defined frailty as a condition that meets at least 3 of the following 5 criteria:
Low physical activity
Weak grip strength
Slow walking speed
Non deliberate weight loss
Previous studies have shown that frailty is associated with a lower quality of life, higher risk of hospitalisation, institutionalisation and even death. Frailty is higher among older adults but younger people with chronic diseases can also have the condition.
The researchers report that interventions such as strength training and protein supplementation may help to prevent or delay the progression of frailty and as the condition is dynamic it can also be reversed.