Hypertension and frailty: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Davide L. Vetrano, Katie M. Palmer, Lucia Galluzzo, Simona Giampaoli, Alessandra Marengoni, Roberto Bernabei, Graziano Onder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective To review the association between hypertension and frailty in observational studies. Design A systematic review of the PubMed, Web of Science and Embase databases was performed. A meta-analysis was performed if at least three studies used the same definition of frailty and a dichotomous definition of hypertension. Setting, participants and measures Studies providing information on the association between frailty and hypertension in adult persons, regardless of the study setting, study design or definition of hypertension and frailty were included. Results Among the initial 964 articles identified, 27 were included in the review. Four longitudinal studies examined the incidence of frailty according to baseline hypertension status, providing conflicting results. Twenty-three studies assessed the cross-sectional association between frailty and hypertension: 13 of them reported a significantly higher prevalence of frailty in hypertensive participants and 10 found no significant association. The pooled prevalence of hypertension in frail individuals was 72% (95% CI 66% to 79%) and the pooled prevalence of frailty in individuals with hypertension was 14% (95% CI 12% to 17%). Five studies, including a total of 7656 participants, reported estimates for the association between frailty and hypertension (pooled OR 1.33; 95% CI 0.94 to 1.89). Conclusions Frailty is common in persons with hypertension. Given the possible influence of frailty on the risk-benefit ratio of treatment for hypertension and its high prevalence, it is important to assess the presence of this condition in persons with hypertension. Trial registration number CRD42017058303.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere024406
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


  • frailty
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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