Echocardiographic Indices Associated with Frailty in Adults ≥65 Years

S. Michael Gharacholou, Teruko Tashiro, Stephen S. Cha, Christopher G. Scott, Paul Y. Takahashi, Patricia A. Pellikka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Frailty is prevalent in patients with cardiovascular disease, but few studies have evaluated relations between frailty and echocardiographically determined cardiac indexes. To assess the prevalence of frailty and its association with echocardiographic characteristics, we prospectively measured frailty in 257 patients ≥65 years who underwent echocardiography (transthoracic echocardiography [TTE]) from June 2012 to February 2013. Deficits of weight loss, exhaustion, physical activity, gait speed, and handgrip strength were used to categorize patients as frail (≥3 features), intermediately frail (1 or 2 features), or nonfrail (0 features). Pearson correlation was used to examine bivariate associations between TTE variables and frailty. Kaplan-Meier methods were used to estimate overall survival based on frailty status. A multivariable model was used to examine TTE indexes associated with frailty while accounting for age and baseline cardiac co-morbidities. Of the 257 patients studied, 40 (15.6%) were nonfrail, 167 (65.0%) intermediately frail, and 50 (19.4%) frail. Left atrial volume (r = 0.14; p = 0.03), stroke volume (r = -0.19; p <0.01), E/A ratio (r = 0.26; p <0.001), and pulmonary artery systolic pressure (r = 0.33; p <0.001) correlated with fraility. After age and baseline cardiac comorbidities were accounted for, larger left atrial volumes, lower stroke volumes, and higher pulmonary artery systolic pressures remained independently associated with frailty. Frail patients had worse survival compared with nonfrail and intermediately frail patients (p = 0.016 by log-rank). In conclusion, 1/5 of older patients who underwent clinically indicated TTE were frail, with worse survival and a unique fingerprint of TTE findings distinguishing them from nonfrail patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1595
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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