SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.51Caesarean birth rates in public and privately funded hospitals: a cross-sectional studyPragmatic criteria of the definition of neonatal near miss: a comparative study author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


CRUZ, Danielle Teles da; VIEIRA, Marcel de Toledo; BASTOS, Ronaldo Rocha  and  LEITE, Isabel Cristina Gonçalves. Factors associated with frailty in a community-dwelling population of older adults. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2017, vol.51, 106.  Epub Nov 17, 2017. ISSN 1518-8787.


To analyze if demographic and socioeconomic factors and factors related to health and health services are associated with frailty in community-dwelling older adults.


This is a cross-sectional study with 339 older adults (60 years old or more) living in Juiz de Fora, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 2015. A household survey was carried out and frailty was evaluated using the Edmonton Frail Scale. For the analysis of the factors associated with outcome, a theoretical model of determination was constructed with three hierarchical blocks: block 1 with demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, block 2 with the health of the older adult (divided into three sub-levels: 2.1 self-reported health variables, 2.2 self-perceived health variables, and 2.3 geriatric syndromes), and block 3 with characteristics related to health services. The variables were adjusted in relation to each other within each block; those with significance level ≤ 0.20 were included in the Poisson regression model and adjusted to a higher level, considering a level of significance of 5%.


The prevalence of frailty among older adults was 35.7% (95%CI 30.7–40.9). Of the total, 42.2% did not present frailty; 22.1% were apparently vulnerable. Among the frail ones, 52.9% presented mild frailty, 32.2% moderate frailty, and 14.9% severe frailty. Frailty was associated with difficulty walking, need for an auxiliary device to walk, presence of caregiver, depressive disorders, and functional dependence to perform instrumental activities of daily living.


Frailty is frequent among the older population and it is associated with health variables of the three sub-levels that make up block 2 of the theoretical hierarchical model of determination: self-reported health variables, self-perceived health variables, and geriatric syndromes.

Keywords : Aged; Frail Elderly; Aging; Health Vulnerability; Risk Factors; Health Surveys.

        · abstract in Portuguese     · text in English | Portuguese     · English ( pdf ) | Portuguese ( pdf )