Tags: frailty | test | predicts | death | risk | mortality

Simple 'Frailty' Test Predicts Death Risk

By    |   Wednesday, 29 May 2013 05:48 PM

Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a simple 10-minute test for "frailty" that can accurately predict the increased risk of death and frequent hospitalization for kidney dialysis patients.
 
Studies of the test, first designed to predict whether the elderly can withstand surgery and other physical stresses, found it was able to identify patients who were more than twice as likely to die within three years, and much more likely to be hospitalized repeatedly.
 
The test, described in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and published online, measures what is known as the body’s "physiological reserve," the premature aging kidney failure patients experience from submitting to the long and arduous process of mechanical blood cleansing several days a week.
 
"More than 600,000 people are on dialysis and they have a wide range of mortality and hospitalization risks," said researcher Dorry L. Segev, M.D., an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "But we're not very good at predicting who is at more — or less — risk for hospitalization and death. This assessment tool gives us much better insights into which dialysis patients are at greater risk, so that their treatment can be tailored to minimize complications, hospitalizations or death."
 
For the study, frailty was measured in nearly 150 patients using a five-point scale developed at Johns Hopkins that gauged unintentional weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, reduced physical activity, and slowed walking speed.
 
The results showed the three-year mortality rate for frail participants was 40 percent, compared to 16.2 percent for the non-frail. Of those hospitalized during the study period more than twice as many were frail, while only 28 percent were not frail.
 
"We're learning that lessons from gerontology can help us understand younger patients with chronic diseases," Dr. Segev said.

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Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a simple 10-minute test for 'frailty' that can accurately predict the increased risk of death and frequent hospitalization for kidney dialysis patients.
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2013-48-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 05:48 PM
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