Frailty trajectories in an elderly population-based cohort

Alanna M. Chamberlain, Lila J.Finney Rutten, Sheila M. Manemann, Barbara P. Yawn, Debra J. Jacobson, Chun Fan, Brandon R. Grossardt, Véronique L. Roger, Jennifer L. St. Sauver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objectives To identify distinct frailty trajectories (clusters of individuals following a similar progression of frailty over time) in an aging population and to estimate associations between frailty trajectories and emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and all-cause mortality. Design Population-based cohort study. Setting Olmsted County, Minnesota. Participants Olmsted County, Minnesota residents aged 60-89 in 2005. Measurements Longitudinal changes in frailty between 2005 and 2012 were measured by constructing a yearly Rockwood frailty index incorporating body mass index, 17 comorbidities, and 14 activities of daily living. The frailty index measures variation in health status as the proportion of deficits present of the 32 considered (range 0-1). Results Of the 16,443 Olmsted County residents aged 60-89 in 2005, 12,270 (74.6%) had at least 3 years of frailty index measures and were retained for analysis. The median baseline frailty index increased with age (0.11 for 60-69, 0.14 for 70-79, 0.19 for 80-89). Three distinct frailty trajectories were identified in individuals aged 60-69 at baseline and two trajectories in those aged 70-79 and 80-89. Within each decade of age, increasing frailty trajectories were associated with greater risks of emergency department visits, hospitalization, and all-cause mortality, even after adjustment for baseline frailty index. Conclusion The number of frailty trajectories differed according to age. Within each age group, those in the highest frailty trajectory had greater healthcare use and worse survival. Frailty trajectories may offer a way to target aging individuals at high risk of hospitalization or death for therapeutic or preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Aging
  • Frailty
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Population research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Frailty trajectories in an elderly population-based cohort'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this