Frailty is highly prevalent in specific cardiovascular diseases and females, but significantly worsens prognosis in all affected patients: A systematic review

Published: March 1, 2021
Category: Bibliography
Authors: Annick Timmermans, Carlo Vigorito, Dominique Hansen, Francesco Giallauria, Joke Spildooren, Laura Haenen, Natasia Marinus, Paul Dendale, Peter Feys, Raf Meesen, Thomas Jansegers
Countries: United States
Language: English
Types: chronic condition, Population Health
Settings: Academic



Cardiologists are more often confronted with older (>60 years) cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients. These patients have particular needs in clinical care because, for example, of frailty. However, it remains to be established what is the prevalence of frailty in different CVD’s and how it relates to mortality.


In this systematic review studies were included if they: (i) examined subjects (men and women) aged ≥60 years who suffered from any CVD with or without cardiac surgery, (ii.) examined the presence of frailty with a well-defined frailty tool and (iii.) reported prevalence rates of frailty.


From thirty studies comprising 96.841 participants, it is found that 1. Frailty is highly common in older patients with CVD (in particular in females (approximately 1.6 times more than in males), in heart failure (up to 80 % of patients) and aortic valve disease (up to 74 % of patients)), and 2. Frailty is related to a 2.5–3.5-fold elevated mortality risk, even in patients with less severe CVD (e.g. percutaneous coronary intervention). Moreover, there is a lack of consistency on how to assess frailty as up to 20 different tools/assessment batteries are currently used.


It is concluded that frailty should be assessed in all older CVD patients in a uniform manner to enhance clinical care and outcomes.

Frailty,Older adults,Heart diseases,Prevalence,Mortality

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