Frailty is a construct developed to characterize a state of reduced functional capacity among older adults. However, there are limited data describing the prevalence or consequences of frailty among middle-aged CKD patients.
Setting & Participants
336 non-dialysis-dependent stage 1–4 CKD patients with eGFR< 90ml/min/1.73m2 (by the CKD-EPI [CKD Epidemiology Collaboration] serum creatinine–based equation) or evidence of microalbuminuria enrolled in the Seattle Kidney Study, a clinic-based cohort study. Findings were compared to community dwelling older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study.
Prevalence and determinants of frailty in addition to its association with the combined outcome of all-cause mortality or renal replacement therapy.
We defined frailty according to established criteria as ≥3 of the following characteristics: slow gait, weakness, unintentional weight loss, exhaustion, and low physical activity. We estimated kidney function using serum cystatin C concentrations (eGFRcys) to minimize confounding due to relationships of serum creatinine levels with muscle mass and frailty.
The mean age of the study population was 59 years and mean eGFRcys was 51 ml/min/1.73m2. The prevalence of frailty (14.0%) was twice that of the much older non-CKD reference population (P<0.01). The most common frailty components were physical inactivity and exhaustion. After adjustment including diabetes, eGFRcys categories of <30 and 30–44 ml/min/1.73m2 were associated with a 2.8 (95% CI, 1.3–6.3) and 2.1 (95% CI, 1.0–4.7)-fold greater prevalence of frailty compared to GFRcys ≥60 ml/min/1.73m2. There were 63 events during a median of 987 days of follow-up. After adjustment, the frailty phenotype was associated with an estimated 2.5 (95% CI, 1.4–4.4)- fold greater risk of death or dialysis.
Cross-sectional study design obscures inference regarding temporal relationships between CKD and frailty.
Frailty is relatively common among middle-aged CKD patients and is associated with lower eGFRcys as well as increased risk of death or dialysis.