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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101096

Frailty and Its Contributory Factors in Older Adults: A Comparison of Two Asian Regions (Hong Kong and Taiwan)

1
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China
2
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Ageing, Shatin, Hong Kong, China
3
Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
4
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care and Control, Shatin, Hong Kong, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing Well: The Role of Age-Friendly Environments)
Full-Text   |   PDF [329 KB, uploaded 26 September 2017]

Abstract

This study aimed to compare the prevalence of frailty across three Chinese populations: Hong Kong, Taiwan-urban and Taiwan-rural. Contributing factors to disparities in frailty were also examined. Data were derived from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOs) and Women (MsOs) (Hong Kong) Study (n = 4000) and the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging (n = 2392). Frailty was defined as an index calculated from 30 multiple deficits. The ratio of the frailty index to life expectancy at birth (FI/LE) was used as an indicator of compression of morbidity. Frailty was more prevalent in Taiwan-urban (33.1%) and Taiwan-rural (38.1%) compared to Hong Kong (16.6%, p < 0.05) and was higher in women (22.6–49.7%) than in men (10.5–27.5%, p < 0.05). The ratios of FI/LE were higher in Taiwan-urban and Taiwan-rural (both 0.27) compared to Hong Kong (0.20, p < 0.05). Multivariate analyses revealed that older age, being a woman and low levels of physical activity were common risk factors for frailty across the three populations. Alcohol use was inversely associated with frailty in both Hong Kong and Taiwan-urban populations, but not in Taiwan-rural. Living alone was associated with frailty in Hong Kong men, but not in Hong Kong women or Taiwanese people. For all study populations, older age and being a woman constituted the highest attributable factor. This comparison provides useful data to inform government policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: frailty; frailty index; compression of morbidity; prevalence; risk factor; healthcare system frailty; frailty index; compression of morbidity; prevalence; risk factor; healthcare system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Yu, R.; Wu, W.-C.; Leung, J.; Hu, S.C.; Woo, J. Frailty and Its Contributory Factors in Older Adults: A Comparison of Two Asian Regions (Hong Kong and Taiwan). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1096.

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