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

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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?


Embedded ImageDesign:

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

Embedded ImageSetting:

40 clinical centres in the US.

Embedded ImageParticipants:

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.

Embedded ImageRisk factors:

frailty, defined as ⩾3 of 5 components: muscle weakness and slow walking speed (<75 out of 100 on the Rand-36 physical function …

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  • For correspondence: Dr N Fugate Woods, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA, USA. nfwoods{at}

  • Source of funding: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.