Incidence of frailty: A systematic review of scientific literature from a public health perspective

Work Package 5 of the Joint Action ADVANTAGE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. Because of the dynamic nature of frailty, prospective epidemiological data are essential to calibrate an adequate public health response. Methods. A systematic review of literature on frailty incidence was conducted within the European Joint Action ADVANTAGE. Results. Of the 6 studies included, only 3 were specifically aimed at estimating frailty incidence, and only 2 provided disaggregated results by at least gender. The mean followup length (1-22.2 years; median 5.1), sample size (74-6306 individuals), and age of participants (≥ 30-65) varied greatly across studies. The adoption of incidence proportions rather than rates further limited comparability of results. After removing one outlier, incidence ranged from 5% (follow-up 22.2 years; age ≥ 30) to 13% (follow-up 1 year, age ≥ 55). Conclusions. Well-designed prospective studies of frailty are necessary. To facilitate comparison across studies and over time, incidence should be estimated in person-time rate. Analyses of factors associated with the development of frailty are needed to identify high-risk groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalAnnali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanita
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Epidemiology
  • Frailty
  • Public health
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Incidence of frailty: A systematic review of scientific literature from a public health perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this