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D. Walters, G. Abellan Van Kan, M. Cesari, K. Vidal, Y. Rolland, B. Vellas

J Frailty Aging 2012;1(1):18-23

Frailty is a widespread geriatric syndrome, but its relationship with body composition is largely unknown. Objectives: Assess the relationship between body composition and frailty in older persons. Design, participants and setting: Cross-sectional data analyses in 120 community-dwelling older persons (50 men, 70 women, mean age 78.5 ± 6 yr). Measurements: Frailty was measured according to Fried’s criteria and calculated as a score, and also a binary variable. Anthropometric measures were obtained (height, weight), and body composition (total lean body mass, appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM), total fat mass, and percentage fat), assessed by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Multiple regression and logistic regression analyses stratified by gender were conducted. Results: Frailty, as a binary measure, was more prevalent in women than men (67.1% vs 46% p=0.04). Prevalence of low muscle mass (ASM/ht2) was higher in men than in women (40.0% vs 32.9%, p=0.04). Using gender-specific percentage fat cut-scores (27% men, 38% women, respectively) obesity was more prevalent in women than men (58.6% vs 34%, respectively, p=0.01). Multiple regression models showed age as an independent associated factor of frailty in men (β 0.310, p=0.009) and women (β .581 p<0.001). ASM/ht2 was a significant associated factor in men (β -0.517, p<0.001) and trended towards significance in women (β -0.188, p=0.06). Percentage fat was a significant associated factor in women only (β 0.234, p=0.02). Logistic regression with frailty as a binary dependent variable yielded similar results. Conclusion: In this sample of older adults, the significant associated factor of frailty in men was ASM/ht2, whereas it was percentage fat in women. These associations were independent of age. With increasing longevity and the high prevalence of sarcopenia and obesity in older populations, these findings have public health implications. Larger sample and specifically designed studies are needed in order to confirm and extend these findings.

D.L. Waters ; G. Abellan van Kan ; M. Cesari ; K. Vidal ; Y. Rolland ; B.Vellas (2012): Gender specific associations between frailty and body composition. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2012.4

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