Frailty in older adults associated with new, worsening disability following critical illness
Frailty and pre-frailty were associated with increased disability after a critical illness, according to research presented at the annual American Geriatrics Society meeting.
Lauren Ferrante, MD, an instructor at the Yale School of Medicine, and colleagues explained that it is vital to recognize these patients in ICU settings to minimize disability.
The researchers assessed any associations between disability and frailty in ICU patients, noting that "little is known about the impact of frailty on functional outcomes after a critical illness."
They evaluated 264 ICU admissions from 193 patients aged 70 years or older and assessed frailty using the Fried index.
Results showed that, before ICU admissions, 112 of the 264 admissions were classified as pre-frailty and 120 were classified as frailty. Before the admissions, the median number of disabilities was four and after the admissions, the median number was nine.
Ferrante and colleagues reported that frailty (RR = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.17-1.97) and pre-frailty (RR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.08-1.8) were both associated with increased disability.
"Frail older adults and those with pre-frailty are 52% and 39% more likely to suffer from a new or worsening disability after a critical illness, respectively, compared to non-frail persons," Ferrante and colleagues concluded. "Efforts are warranted to identify frail older persons at the time of ICU admission, with the goal of reducing disability among those who survive a critical illness." – by Chelsea Frajerman Pardes
L Ferrante, et al. Frailty is associated with new or worsening disability after a critical illness. Presented at: American Geriatrics Society 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting; May 19-21; Long Beach, Calif.
Disclosures: Ferrante reports support from an NIH/NIA GEMSSTAR award (R03 AG050874) and a Pepper Scholar award. Please see the full abstract for a complete list of all other authors' relevant financial disclosures.