The association between frailty and incident cardiovascular disease events in community-dwelling healthy older adults

A. R.M.Saifuddin Ekram, Andrew M. Tonkin, Joanne Ryan, Lawrence Beilin, Michael E. Ernst, Sara E. Espinoza, John J. McNeil, Mark R. Nelson, Christopher M. Reid, Anne B. Newman, Robyn L. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Study objective: This study examined the association between frailty and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), and CVD-related mortality. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Setting: The ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) clinical trial in Australia and the United States. Participants: 19,114 community-dwelling older adults (median age 74.0 years; 56.4 % females). Interventions: Pre-frailty and frailty were assessed using a modified Fried phenotype and a deficit accumulation Frailty Index (FI) at baseline. Main outcome measures: CVD was defined as a composite of CVD death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, and hospitalization for heart failure; MACE included all except heart failure. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to analyze the association between frailty and CVD outcomes over a median follow-up of 4.7 years. Results: Baseline pre-frail and frail groups had a higher risk of incident CVD events (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.31; 95 % Confidence Interval (CI): 1.14–1.50 for pre-frail and HR: 1.63; 95 % CI: 1.15–2.32 for frail) and MACE (pre-frail HR: 1.26; 95 % CI: 1.08–1.47 and frail HR: 1.51; 95 % CI: 1.00–2.29) than non-frail participants according to Fried phenotype after adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors. Effect sizes were similar or larger when frailty was assessed with FI; similar results for men and women. Conclusion: Frailty increases the likelihood of developing CVD, including MACE, in community-dwelling older men and women without prior CVD events. Screening for frailty using Fried or FI method could help identify community-dwelling older adults without prior CVD events who are more likely to develop CVD, including MACE, and may facilitate targeted preventive measures to reduce their risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100289
JournalAmerican Heart Journal Plus: Cardiology Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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