Frailty Among Patients Receiving Hemodialysis: Evolution of Components and Associations With Mortality

Kirsten L. Johansen, Cynthia Delgado, George Kaysen, Glenn M. Chertow, Janet Chiang, Lorien Dalrymple, Mark R. Segal, Barbara A. Grimes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Understanding how components of frailty change over time and how they can be modeled as time-dependent predictors of mortality could lead to better risk prediction in the dialysis population. METHODS: We measured frailty at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months among 727 patients receiving hemodialysis in Northern California and Atlanta. We examined the likelihood of meeting frailty components (weight loss, exhaustion, low physical activity, weak grip strength, and slow gait speed) as a function of time in logistic regression analysis and association of frailty components with mortality in time-updated multivariable Cox models. RESULTS: Physical activity and gait speed declined, exhaustion and grip strength did not change, and the odds of meeting the weight loss criterion declined with time. All five components were associated with higher mortality in multivariable analyses, but gait speed was the strongest individual predictor. All frailty components except physical inactivity were independently associated with mortality when all five components were included in the same model. The number of frailty components met was associated with mortality in a gradient that ranged from a hazard ratio of 2.73 for one component to 10.07 for five components met; the model including all five components was the best model based on Akaike information criterion. CONCLUSIONS: Measurement of all frailty components was necessary for optimal mortality prediction, and the number of components met was strongly associated with mortality in this cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-386
Number of pages7
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Frailty
  • Gait speed
  • Hemodialysis
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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