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      Frailty and Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment


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          Frailty is defined as a reduced physiologic reserve vulnerable to external stressors. For older individuals, frailty plays a decisive role in increasing adverse health outcomes in most clinical situations. Many tools or criteria have been introduced to define frailty in recent years, and the definition of frailty has gradually converged into several consensuses. Frail older adults often have multi-domain risk factors in terms of physical, psychological, and social health. Comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is the process of identifying and quantifying frailty by examining various risky domains and body functions, which is the basis for geriatric medicine and research. CGA provides physicians with information on the reversible area of frailty and the leading cause of deterioration in frail older adults. Therefore frailty assessment based on understanding CGA and its relationship with frailty, can help establish treatment strategies and intervention in frail older adults. This review article summarizes the recent consensus and evidence of frailty and CGA.

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          Frailty: emergence and consequences in women aged 65 and older in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study.

          To define frailty using simple indicators; to identify risk factors for frailty as targets for prevention; and to investigate the predictive validity of this frailty classification for death, hospitalization, hip fracture, and activity of daily living (ADL) disability. Prospective study, the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Forty U.S. clinical centers. Forty thousand six hundred fifty-seven women aged 65 to 79 at baseline. Components of frailty included self-reported muscle weakness/impaired walking, exhaustion, low physical activity, and unintended weight loss between baseline and 3 years of follow-up. Death, hip fractures, ADL disability, and hospitalizations were ascertained during an average of 5.9 years of follow-up. Baseline frailty was classified in 16.3% of participants, and incident frailty at 3-years was 14.8%. Older age, chronic conditions, smoking, and depressive symptom score were positively associated with incident frailty, whereas income, moderate alcohol use, living alone, and self-reported health were inversely associated. Being underweight, overweight, or obese all carried significantly higher risk of frailty than normal weight. Baseline frailty independently predicted risk of death (hazard ratio (HR)=1.71, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.48-1.97), hip fracture (HR=1.57, 95% CI=1.11-2.20), ADL disability (odds ratio (OR)=3.15, 95% CI=2.47-4.02), and hospitalizations (OR=1.95, 95% CI=1.72-2.22) after adjustment for demographic characteristics, health behaviors, disability, and comorbid conditions. These results support the robustness of the concept of frailty as a geriatric syndrome that predicts several poor outcomes in older women. Underweight, obesity, smoking, and depressive symptoms are strongly associated with the development of frailty and represent important targets for prevention.
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            Comprehensive geriatric assessment for older adults admitted to hospital: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

            Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive geriatric assessment in hospital for older adults admitted as an emergency. Search strategy We searched the EPOC Register, Cochrane’s Controlled Trials Register, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Medline, Embase, CINAHL, AARP Ageline, and handsearched high yield journals. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials of comprehensive geriatric assessment (whether by mobile teams or in designated wards) compared with usual care. Comprehensive geriatric assessment is a multidimensional interdisciplinary diagnostic process used to determine the medical, psychological, and functional capabilities of a frail elderly person to develop a coordinated and integrated plan for treatment and long term follow-up. Data collection and analysis Three independent reviewers assessed eligibility and trial quality and extracted published data. Two additional reviewers moderated. Results Twenty two trials evaluating 10 315 participants in six countries were identified. For the primary outcome “living at home,” patients who underwent comprehensive geriatric assessment were more likely to be alive and in their own homes at the end of scheduled follow-up (odds ratio 1.16 (95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.28; P=0.003; number needed to treat 33) at a median follow-up of 12 months versus 1.25 (1.11 to 1.42; P<0.001; number needed to treat 17) at a median follow-up of six months) compared with patients who received general medical care. In addition, patients were less likely to be living in residential care (0.78, 0.69 to 0.88; P<0.001). Subgroup interaction suggested differences between the subgroups “wards” and “teams” in favour of wards. Patients were also less likely to die or experience deterioration (0.76, 0.64 to 0.90; P=0.001) and were more likely to experience improved cognition (standardised mean difference 0.08, 0.01 to 0.15; P=0.02) in the comprehensive geriatric assessment group. Conclusions Comprehensive geriatric assessment increases patients’ likelihood of being alive and in their own homes after an emergency admission to hospital. This seems to be especially true for trials of wards designated for comprehensive geriatric assessment and is associated with a potential cost reduction compared with general medical care.
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              A pooled analysis of vitamin D dose requirements for fracture prevention.

              The results of meta-analyses examining the relationship between vitamin D supplementation and fracture reduction have been inconsistent. We pooled participant-level data from 11 double-blind, randomized, controlled trials of oral vitamin D supplementation (daily, weekly, or every 4 months), with or without calcium, as compared with placebo or calcium alone in persons 65 years of age or older. Primary end points were the incidence of hip and any nonvertebral fractures according to Cox regression analyses, with adjustment for age group, sex, type of dwelling, and study. Our primary aim was to compare data from quartiles of actual intake of vitamin D (including each individual participant's adherence to the treatment and supplement use outside the study protocol) in the treatment groups of all trials with data from the control groups. We included 31,022 persons (mean age, 76 years; 91% women) with 1111 incident hip fractures and 3770 nonvertebral fractures. Participants who were randomly assigned to receive vitamin D, as compared with those assigned to control groups, had a nonsignificant 10% reduction in the risk of hip fracture (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 1.01) and a 7% reduction in the risk of nonvertebral fracture (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.87 to 0.99). By quartiles of actual intake, reduction in the risk of fracture was shown only at the highest intake level (median, 800 IU daily; range, 792 to 2000), with a 30% reduction in the risk of hip fracture (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.86) and a 14% reduction in the risk of any nonvertebral fracture (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.96). Benefits at the highest level of vitamin D intake were fairly consistent across subgroups defined by age group, type of dwelling, baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, and additional calcium intake. High-dose vitamin D supplementation (≥800 IU daily) was somewhat favorable in the prevention of hip fracture and any nonvertebral fracture in persons 65 years of age or older. (Funded by the Swiss National Foundations and others.).

                Author and article information

                J Korean Med Sci
                J. Korean Med. Sci
                Journal of Korean Medical Science
                The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences
                20 December 2019
                20 January 2020
                : 35
                : 3
                : e16
                Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
                Author notes
                Address for Correspondence: Il-Young Jang, MD. Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Korea. onezero2@ 123456gmail.com
                Author information
                © 2020 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 30 August 2019
                : 09 December 2019
                Review Article
                Medicine General & Policy

                comprehensive geriatric assessment,frailty
                comprehensive geriatric assessment, frailty


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