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K.P. Roland, K.M.D. Cornett, O. Theou, J.M. Jakobi, G.R. Jones

J Frailty Aging 2012;1(3):123-127

Background: Females with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are at greater risk of frailty than males. Little is known about how age and disease-related characteristics influence frailty in females with PD because frailty studies often exclude persons with underlying neurological pathologies. Objective: To determine age and disease-related characteristics that best explain physical frailty in community-dwelling females with and without PD. Design & Measurement: Correlation coefficients described relationships between PD-related characteristics and physical frailty phenotype criteria (Cardiovascular Health Study). Regression analysis identified associations between disease-related characteristics and frailty in non-PD and PD females. Setting: Community-dwelling. Participants: Females with mild to moderate PD (n = 17, mean age = 66 ± 8.5 years) and non-PD (n = 18, mean age = 72 ± 13.2 years) participated. Results: Daily carbidopa-levodopa dose best explained frailty in PD females (β = 0.5), whereas in non-PD females, age (β = 0.7) and comorbidity (β = 0.5) were most associated with frailty. Conclusions: Dopaminergic medication explained frailty in PD and not measures of disease progression (i.e. severity, duration). In females without PD age-related accumulation of comorbidities resulted in greater risk of frailty. This indicates dopaminergic management of PD symptoms may better reflect frailty in females with PD than disease severity or duration. These data suggest the influence of underlying frailty should be considered when managing neurological conditions. Understanding how frailty concurrently exists with PD and how these conditions progress within the aging female will facilitate future care management.

K.P. Roland ; K.M.D. Cornett ; O. Theou ; J.M. Jakobi ; G.R. Jones (2012): Concurrence of Frailty and Parkinson’s disease. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2012.20

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