Journal Article


Roman Romero Ortuno
Cathal Dominic Walsh
Rose Anne Kenny
Brian Lawlor



retirement gerontology europe health care survey aging standards primary care humans older people cross sectional studies frail elderly female ageing frailty paradigm statistics numerical data pathology primary health care health surveys male prospective studies health status web based aged epidemiology common language middle aged

A frailty instrument for primary care: findings from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). (2010)

Abstract Background: A frailty paradigm would be useful in primary care to identify older people at risk, but appropriate metrics at that level are lacking. We created and validated a simple instrument for frailty screening in Europeans aged [greater than or equal to]50. Our study is based on the first wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, http://www.share-project.org), a large population-based survey conducted in 2004-2005 in twelve European countries. Methods: Subjects: SHARE Wave 1 respondents (17,304 females and 13,811 males). Measures: five SHARE variables approximating Fried's frailty definition. Analyses (for each gender): 1) estimation of a discreet factor (DFactor) model based on the frailty variables using LatentGOLD(R). A single DFactor with three ordered levels or latent classes (i.e. non-frail, pre-frail and frail) was modelled; 2) the latent classes were characterised against a biopsychosocial range of Wave 1 variables; 3) the prospective mortality risk (unadjusted and age-adjusted) for each frailty class was established on those subjects with known mortality status at Wave 2 (2007-2008) (11,384 females and 9,163 males); 4) two web-based calculators were created for easy retrieval of a subject's frailty class given any five measurements. Results: Females: the DFactor model included 15,578 cases (standard R2 = 0.61). All five frailty indicators discriminated well (p < 0.001) between the three classes: non-frail (N = 10,420; 66.9%), pre-frail (N = 4,025; 25.8%), and frail (N = 1,133; 7.3%). Relative to the non-frail class, the age-adjusted Odds Ratio (with 95% Confidence Interval) for mortality at Wave 2 was 2.1 (1.4 - 3.0) in the pre-frail and 4.8 (3.1 - 7.4) in the frail. Males: 12,783 cases (standard R2 = 0.61, all frailty indicators had p < 0.001): non-frail (N = 10,517; 82.3%), pre-frail (N = 1,871; 14.6%), and frail (N = 395; 3.1%); age-adjusted OR (95% CI) for mortality: 3.0 (2.3 - 4.0) in the pre-frail, 6.9 (4.7 - 10.2) in the frail. Conclusions: The SHARE Frailty Instrument has sufficient construct and predictive validity, and is readily and freely accessible via web calculators. To our knowledge, SHARE-FI represents the first European research effort towards a common frailty language at the community level.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Roman Romero Ortuno, Cathal Dominic Walsh, Rose Anne Kenny, Brian Lawlor

Experts in our system

Cathal Walsh
University of Limerick
Total Publications: 109
Rose Anne Kenny
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 252
Brian A. Lawlor
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 125