Sex Differences in Frailty Incidence in Greek Community-Dwelling Older People: The HELIAD Study.J Frailty Aging. 2022; 11(3):250-255.JF
Previous frailty studies found higher prevalence of frailty in female than in male participants. This was mainly attributed to the fact that compared to men, women show increased longevity. Recent studies have reported that the observed difference between sexes applies irrespectively of the age of older people.
To provide data on sex differences in incident frailty by applying both phenotypic and multi-domain frailty measures in the same population of Greek community-dwelling older people.
Data were drawn from the Hellenic longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet (HELIAD), a population-based, multidisciplinary study designed to estimate the prevalence and incidence of dementia in the Greek population.
1104 participants aged 65 year and above were included in this longitudinal study. This incidence cohort was re-evaluated after a mean follow-up period of 3.04±0.90 years.
Frailty was operationalized using 5 different definitions in the same population: the Fried Frailty Phenotype (FFP) definition, the FRAIL Scale, the Frailty Index (FI), the Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI) and the Groningen Frailty Index (GFI). Frailty incidence was calculated a) for the whole sample, b) separately for men and women and c) after both age and sex stratification.
Age and sex stratification revealed that irrespective of age and frailty measurement, women showed higher incidence rates of frailty than men. Specifically, frailty seems to be a condition concerning women >65 years old, but when it comes to men, it is more frequent in those aged more than 75 years old. Finally, in relation to overall frailty incidence and comparing our results to previous studies, we detected a lower frailty incidence in the Greek population.
Differences between the two sexes indicate that when exploring the factors that are related to frailty, studies should provide data disaggregated for men and women.