Frailty & pre-frailty in middle-aged & older adults & its assoc. w/multimorbidity & mortality: prospective analysis of 493,737 UK Biobank participants

Discussion in 'ME/CFS research' started by Indigophoton, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Indigophoton

    Indigophoton Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Hanlon et al, 2018

    Not specifically on ME, but CFS comes out as the condition second most strongly associated with frailty,

    Table 1 Frailty criteria

    Figure 2

    Frailty or pre-frailty for individual long-term conditions adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic status, smoking status, and body-mass index

    A forest plot indicating the odds ratio for frailty (A) and pre-frailty (B) for long-term conditions with >1% prevalence (in the whole cohort) compared those without. *Excludes non-melanoma skin cancer.
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  2. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    NZ to UK
    Thanks for posting this @Indigophoton, those graphs look pretty powerful to me. I hope they will prove useful in future advocacy.

    So, imagine a long term condition where patients have the worst quality of life*, are likely to become frail early in life and are six times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. What shall we do about it?

    A) Disbelieve patients so they avoid doctors as much as possible
    B) Insult and put barriers in patients way so they dont attend doctors/have access to benefits or services
    C) Try to convince patients there's nothing wrong with them
    D) Avoid doing any research so there are no treatments
    E) All of the above.

    It's a crazy world isn't it where the 'right' answer is E, "nothing to see here, move along". But I suppose it saves the oligarchs money.

    *referring to that study on QOL 3/4 years ago with another powerful graph.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    London, UK
    I would be worried that this 'frailty' label is pretty vague and like 'fatigue' may just confuse everything. Just as you do not treat all fatigue the same way it is unlikely that you would treat frailty, defined by these criteria, the same way.

    I am also a bit doubtful about what these figures mean. If 'cancer' includes a rodent ulcer on the ear then it may not be surprising that on average it is low on frailty.

    I sense a new branch of the NHS coming into being: 'IAAFT' Increase access to anti-frailty therapies.
  4. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    NZ to UK
    Yes, having pondered about this a bit more, I suspect the 'treatment' for frailty will be exercise and encouragement to get out and about more. Just what we need. Optimism over.

    Someone who understands the science better may like to comment on whether or not this paper provides useful evidence that despite the active encouragement to go away and think ourselves healthy, we in fact get plenty of comorbid conditions and die early. Just like other sick people.
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    It looks like there's a lot of overlap between CFS and how they define 'frailty':

    "Frailty phenotype was based on five criteria (weight loss, exhaustion, grip strength, low physical activity, slow walking pace)."
  6. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    There's a weightloss thread on this forum; it's not evidence of any kind, but it does question their assumptions
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  7. Cinders66

    Cinders66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Unfit in middle age: Are you doomed?

    Mentions "frailty" in middle age as higher risk of early death & says frail people were often found to have MS or CFS. Unfortunately the current recommendations for frailty are identify and treat with exercise :-(

    I agree it's firm stats to quote in advocacy terms. Obviously not exactly the most heartening of news to those of us who hardly move but it's not like we didn't already suspect it. What we need to make sure is people realise increasing activity isn't going to be solution for a lot of us without treatment.
    If you don't want yet more health burdens from our population, invest in CFS research as you do in MS.

    What about frailty?
    Frailty is known to be a health risk to people in later life because, among other things, it increases the likelihood of falls.

    But a new paper, which examined data from 493,737 people involved in the UK Biobank study, found that being frail earlier in life also appeared to be a predictor of ill health and early death.

    The study, published in the Lancet Public Health journal, defined frailty as anyone who had at least three of the following health problems:

    • Weight loss
    • Exhaustion
    • Weak grip strength
    • Low physical activity
    • Slow walking pace
    [​IMG]Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
    Image captionThe key for those who are unfit in middle age is making healthy changes "as soon as possible"
    After accounting for other factors (including socio-economic status, a number of long-term conditions, smoking, alcohol and BMI), researchers found men between the ages of 37 and 45 were over two-and-a-half times more likely to die than non-frail people of the same age.

    The figures were similar in all the other age groups (45-55, 55-65, and 65-73).

    Similar associations were found in women who were judged to be frail and were 45 or older.

    Frail people were also far more likely to have conditions such as multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Lead author of the study, Prof Frances Mair, from the University of Glasgow, said the findings suggested there was a need to both identify and treat frailty much earlier in life.

    So what can we do?
    Dr Peter Hanlon, a co-author on the frailty study, said the good news is that frailty might be reversible in people, particularly if it is identified early.

    The key for those who are unfit in middle age is making healthy changes "as soon as possible", says Ilaria Bellantuono, professor of musculoskeletal ageing at the University of Sheffield.

    "The key is a healthy diet and exercise. It's the only thing we know that works," she says.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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