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What is the relationship between validated frailty scores and mortality for adults with COVID-19 in acute hospital care? A systematic review.

journal contribution
posted on 08.02.2021, 15:59 by Theodore D Cosco, John Best, Daniel Davis, Daniele Bryden, Suzanne Arkill, James van Oppen, Indira Riadi, Kevin R Wagner, Simon Conroy

Background & aim

The aim of this systematic review was to quantify the association between frailty and COVID-19 in relation to mortality in hospitalised patients.

Methods

Medline, Embase, Web of Science and the grey literature were searched for papers from inception to 10th September 2020; the search was re-run in Medline up until the 9th December 2020. Screening, data extraction and quality grading were undertaken by two reviewers. Results were summarised using descriptive statistics, including a meta-analysis of overall mortality; the relationships between frailty and COVID-19 mortality were summarised narratively.

Results

2,286 papers were screened resulting in 26 being included in the review. Most studies were from Europe, half from the UK, and one from Brazil; the median sample size was 242.5, median age 73.1 and 43.5% were female. 22/26 used the Clinical Frailty Scale; reported mortality ranged from 14 to 65%. Most, but not all studies showed an association between increasing frailty and a greater risk of dying. Two studies indicated a sub-additive relationship between frailty, COVID-19 and death, and two studies showed no association.

Conclusions

Whilst the majority of studies have shown a positive association between COVID-19 related death and increasing frailty, some studies suggested a more nuanced understanding of frailty and outcomes in COVID-19 is needed. Clinicians should exert caution in placing too much emphasis on the influence of frailty alone when discussing likely prognosis in older people with COVID-19 illness.

History

Citation

Age and Ageing, afab008, https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afab008

Author affiliation

Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Age and ageing

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0002-0729

eissn

1468-2834

Copyright date

2021

Available date

14/01/2022

Spatial coverage

England

Language

eng