Frailty and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Japan

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Background: In aging societies, there is an increasing focus on the concept of frailty. However, there is no consistent means to assess this concept. We assessed frailty using the Kihon Checklist (KCL), which is widely used in Japan, and examined the association between frailty and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Japan, the most aged society in the world. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study, and we analyzed 43,312 participants aged ≥ 65 years who were enrolled in basic health checkups in Okayama City, Japan. We defined the frailty status of the participants using the KCL. To assess the association of frailty status with all-cause and cause-specific mortality, we used cause-specific Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs), adjusting for individual potential confounders. Mean follow-up time was 9.3 years. Results: The fully adjusted HR for all-cause mortality was 1.34 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.27-1.41) for the prefrail group and 2.22 (95% CI: 2.11-2.33) for the frail group. A similar pattern was observed for cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer mortality. Younger people (65–74 years) and women tended to have higher effect estimates than older people (≥ 75 years) and men. Conclusion: Prefrailty and frailty can increase the risk of both all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Our study suggests that to support frail patients, it could be effective to focus on the prevention and management of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and that the KCL may be useful as a method of screening for frailty.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104906
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Frailty
  • Kihon Checklist
  • Prefrailty
  • Respiratory disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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