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Frailty Consensus: A Call to Action

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John E. Morley, MB, BCh,a,*Bruno Vellas, MD,b,cG. Abellan van Kan, MD,b,cStefan D. Anker, MD, PhD,d,eJuergen M. Bauer, MD, PhD,fRoberto Bernabei, MD,gMatteo Cesari, MD, PhD,b,cW.C. Chumlea, PhD,hWolfram Doehner, MD, PhD,d,iJonathan Evans, MD,jLinda P. Fried, MD, MPH,kJack M. Guralnik, MD, PhD,lPaul R. Katz, MD, CMD,mTheodore K. Malmstrom, PhD,a,nRoger J. McCarter, PhD,oLuis M. Gutierrez Robledo, MD, PhD,pKen Rockwood, MD,qStephan von Haehling, MD, PhD,rMaurits F. Vandewoude, MD, PhD,s andJeremy Walston, MDt


Frailty is a clinical state in which there is an increase in an individual’s vulnerability for developing increased dependency and/or mortality when exposed to a stressor. Frailty can occur as the result of a range of diseases and medical conditions. A consensus group consisting of delegates from 6 major international, European, and US societies created 4 major consensus points on a specific form of frailty: physical frailty.

  1. Physical frailty is an important medical syndrome. The group defined physical frailty as “a medical syndrome with multiple causes and contributors that is characterized by diminished strength, endurance, and reduced physiologic function that increases an individual’s vulnerability for developing increased dependency and/or death.”
  2. Physical frailty can potentially be prevented or treated with specific modalities, such as exercise, protein-calorie supplementation, vitamin D, and reduction of polypharmacy.
  3. Simple, rapid screening tests have been developed and validated, such as the simple FRAIL scale, to allow physicians to objectively recognize frail persons.
  4. For the purposes of optimally managing individuals with physical frailty, all persons older than 70 years and all individuals with significant weight loss (≥5%) due to chronic disease should be screened for frailty.

Resource; J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013 Jun; 14(6): 392–397.