The Association of Frailty with Hospitalizations and Mortality among Community Dwelling Older Adults with Diabetes

J. Ferri-Guerra, R. Aparicio-Ugarriza, D. Salguero, D. Baskaran, Y. N. Mohammed, H. Florez, Jorge G Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Diabetes (DM) is associated with an accelerated aging that promotes frailty, a state of vulnerability to stressors, characterized by multisystem decline that results in diminished intrinsic reserve and is associated with morbidity, mortality and utilization. Research suggests a bidirectional relationship between frailty and diabetes. Frailty is associated with mortality in patients with diabetes, but its prevalence and impact on hospitalizations are not well known. OBJECTIVES: Determine the association of frailty with all-cause hospitalizations and mortality in older Veterans with diabetes. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort. SETTING: Outpatient. PARTICIPANTS: Veterans 65 years and older with diabetes who were identified as frail through calculation of a 44-item frailty index. MEASUREMENTS: The FI was constructed as a proportion of healthcare variables (demographics, comorbidities, medications, laboratory tests, and ADLs) at the time of the screening. At the end of follow up, data was aggregated on all-cause hospitalizations and mortality and compared non-frail (robust, FI≤ .10 and prefrail FI=>.10, <.21) and frail (FI≥.21) patients. After adjusting for age, race, ethnicity, median income, history of hospitalizations, comorbidities, duration of DM and glycemic control, the association of frailty with all-cause hospitalizations was carried out according to the Andersen-Gill model, accounting for repeated hospitalizations and the association with all-cause mortality using a multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model. RESULTS: We identified 763 patients with diabetes, mean age 72.9 (SD=6.8) years, 50.5% were frail. After a median follow-up of 561 days (IQR=172), 37.0% they had 673 hospitalizations. After adjustment for covariates, frailty was associated with higher all-cause hospitalizations, hazard ratio (HR)=1.71 (95%CI:1.31-2.24), p<.0001, and greater mortality, HR=2.05 (95%CI:1.16-3.64), p=.014. CONCLUSIONS: Frailty was independently associated with all-cause hospitalizations and mortality in older Veterans with diabetes. Interventions to reduce the burden of frailty may be helpful to improve outcomes in older patients with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of frailty & aging
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • diabetes mellitus
  • Frailty
  • hospitalizations
  • mortality
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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