In a recent study, frailty is associated with all-cause mortality risk in older inpatients with COVID-19. Frailty is defined as the propensity to deteriorate in the face of a stressor. It reflects homeostatic reserve and physiological resilience or “biological age.” It is increasingly used to stratify clinical populations to reflect differing prognosis and clinical needs, in particular the need for an approach based on comprehensive geriatric assessment.
Increasing age has previously been associated with COVID-19 mortality. This study shows an association between frailty and mortality in older adults with COVID-19. Frailty is associated with all-cause mortality in older adults diagnosed with COVID-19 who are admitted to a hospital, independent of age, sex, acute illness severity, deprivation status, hospital admissions in the previous year, and ethnicity. Increasing age, male sex, and acute illness severity area also associated with increased mortality risk.
Frailty scores are not the end all for evaluating the risk of severe illness related to COVID-19; however, it can be useful in conjunction with other prognostic markers for discussions with patients and/or their DPOA regarding clinical management decisions. Remember, first do no harm!
Stay the course, stay well, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!