Frailty phenotype and multi-domain impairments in older patients with chronic kidney disease

Simone Vettoretti, Lara Caldiroli, Giulia Porata, Carlotta Vezza, Matteo Cesari, Piergiorgio Messa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Older subjects with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are often affected by multiple geriatric impairments that may benefit from a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA). However, ordinary execution of CGA in all these individuals would be unaffordable. We evaluated if Frailty Phenotype (FP) could identify older CKD-patients that may benefit the most from a CGA. Methods: We evaluated 112 CKD patients not yet on dialysis (age ≥ 65 years, eGFR < 45 ml/min). FP was defined according to the criteria proposed by Fried and co-authors. CGA evaluated four domains (nutrition, physical performance, cognition and depression). Malnutrition was defined in accordance to Malnutrition-Inflammation Score (MIS) and/or by the presence of Protein Energy Wasting syndrome (PEW). Physical performance was evaluated using Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and handgrip strength. Cognitive status was assessed by using Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Clock Drawing Test. Mood was investigated with Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Results: Average age of our cohort was 80 ± 6 years and mean eGFR 24 ± 11 ml/min/1.73 m2. Prevalence of frailty was 45%. Frail patients (F-CKD) had higher prevalence of malnutrition (58 vs 29%, p = 0.0005), physical impairment (100% vs 78%; p < 0.0001), cognitive dysfunction (83% vs 37%; p < 0.0001) and depression (50% vs 21%; p < 0.001) compared to robust ones (NF-CKD). Moreover, F-CKD patients had higher probability to have > 2 impaired domains (83% sensitivity and 76% specificity) respect to NF-CKD individuals. Conclusions: FP is a reliable screening tool to identify older CKD-patients that may benefit from a CGA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number371
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2020


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Comprehensive geriatric assessment
  • Frailty phenotype
  • Malnutrition
  • Physical performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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