Evid Based Nurs 9:57 doi:10.1136/ebn.9.2.57
  • Causation

An operational definition of frailty predicted death and other adverse outcomes in older women

 Q Does frailty, defined as a combination of 5 simple measures, predict death, hip fracture, activity of daily living (ADL) disability, and hospital admission in older women?



cohort study (Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study).


40 clinical centres in the US.


40 657 postmenopausal women who were 65–79 years of age, did not have Parkinson’s disease, did not take medication for Parkinson’s disease or depression, and were expected to survive and live in the same area for ⩾3 years.

GraphicRisk factors:

frailty, defined as ⩾3 of 5 components: muscle weakness and slow walking speed (<75 out of 100 on the Rand-36 physical function scale; counts as 2 components), exhaustion (<55 out of 100 on the Rand-36 vitality scale), low physical activity (kcal of weekly energy expenditure in the lowest quartile, calculated from a detailed physical activity questionnaire), …

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