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A frailty index from common clinical and laboratory tests predicts increased risk of death across the life course

Blodgett, JM; Theou, O; Howlett, SE; Rockwood, K; (2017) A frailty index from common clinical and laboratory tests predicts increased risk of death across the life course. GeroScience , 39 (4) pp. 447-455. 10.1007/s11357-017-9993-7. Green open access

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Abstract

A frailty index (FI) based entirely on common clinical and laboratory tests might offer scientific advantages in understanding ageing and pragmatic advantages in screening. Our main objective was to compare an FI based on common laboratory tests with an FI based on self-reported data; we additionally investigated if the combination of subclinical deficits with clinical ones increased the ability of the FI to predict mortality. In this secondary analysis of the 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, 8888 individuals aged 20+ were evaluated. Three FIs were constructed: a 36-item FI using self-reported questionnaire data (FI-Self-report); a 32-item FI using data from laboratory test values plus pulse and blood pressure measures (FI-Lab); and a 68-item FI that combined all items from each index (FI-Combined). The mean FI-Lab score was 0.15 ± 0.09, the FI-Self-report was 0.11 ± 0.11 and FI-Combined was 0.13 ± 0.08. Each index showed some typical FI characteristics (skewed distribution with long right tail, non-linear increase with age). Even so, there were fewer people with low frailty levels and a slower increase with age for the FI-Lab compared to the FI-Self-report. Higher frailty level was associated with higher risk of death, although it was strongest at older ages. Both FI-Lab and FI-Self-report remained significant in a combined model predicting death. The FI-Lab was feasible and valid, demonstrating that even subclinical deficit accumulation increased mortality risk. This suggests that deficit accumulation, from the subcellular to the clinically visible is a useful construct that may advance our understanding of the ageing process.

Type: Article
Title: A frailty index from common clinical and laboratory tests predicts increased risk of death across the life course
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11357-017-9993-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-017-9993-7
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Geriatrics & Gerontology, Frail elderly, Frailty, Deficit accumulation, Biomarkers, Ageing, NHANES, DEFICIT ACCUMULATION, OLDER-ADULTS, ASSOCIATION, AGE, DISABILITY, MORTALITY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127184
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