Frailty is a significant healthcare challenge in China. However, the relationship between frailty and the prognosis of older people in China remains unclear. The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of frailty and determine if the frailty index, a comprehensive geriatric assessment, was associated with the prognosis of older people in a Chinese population.
Data were drawn from the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging, a representative cohort study with an 8-year follow-up. Evaluations based on the use of the frailty index were performed in a cohort of 1808 people aged 60 years and over residing in Beijing urban and rural areas. The initial survey was conducted in 2004, with follow-up surveys at 3, 5, and 8 years. Mortality data for all individuals were collected and analyzed.
The frailty index and the age of individuals showed the same trend, with a higher frailty index expected as age increased. Respondents with the same frailty index level differed across factors such as sex and location. Male individuals, rural dwellers, and older individuals showed higher frailty rates than female individuals, urban dwellers, and younger individuals.
Frailty is a condition associated with problems across multiple physiological systems. The frailty index increases with age, and may be a significant tool for evaluation of the prognosis of older people in China.