The Association between Frailty and All-Cause Mortality in Community-Dwelling Older Individuals: An Umbrella Review

A. R.M.S. Ekram, R. L. Woods, C. Britt, S. Espinoza, M. E. Ernst, J. Ryan

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Frailty is associated with multiple adverse health outcomes, including mortality. Several methods have been used to characterize frailty, each based on different frailty scales. These include scales based on phenotype, multidomain, and deficit accumulations. Several systematic reviews have examined the association between frailty and mortality; however, it is unclear whether these different frailty scales similarly predict mortality. This umbrella review aims to examine the association between frailty assessed by different frailty scales and all-cause mortality among community-dwelling older adults. A protocol was registered at PROSPERO, and it was conducted following the PRISMA statement. MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) EBP database, and Web of Science database was searched. Methodological quality was assessed using the JBI critical appraisal checklist and online AMSTAR-2 critical appraisal checklist. For eligible studies, essential information was extracted and synthesized qualitatively. Five systematic reviews were included, with a total of 434,115 participants. Three systematic reviews focused on single frailty scales; one evaluated Fried's physical frailty phenotype and its modifications; another focused on the deficit accumulation frailty index. The third evaluated the FRAIL (Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illness, and Loss of weight) scale. The two other systematic reviews determined the association between frailty and mortality using different frailty scales. All of the systematic reviews found that frailty was significantly associated with all-cause mortality. This umbrella review demonstrates that frailty is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality, irrespective of the specific frailty scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Frailty & Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • All-cause mortality
  • Frailty deficit accumulation index
  • Fried frailty phenotype

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