Publication Details
Van Dooren, Sonia, Gerontopole Brussels Study group, Veerle Knoop, Axelle Costenoble, Aziz Debain, Roberta Vella Azzopardi, Sofie Vermeiren, Sven van Laere, Bart Jansen, Scafoglieri, Aldo, Bautmans, Ivan, Dominque Verté, Verté, Dominique, Verte, Dominique, Beyer, Ingo, Mirko Petrovic, De Donder, Liesbeth, Tinie Kardol, Rossi, Gina, Clarys, Peter, Cattrysse, Erik, De Hert, Paul

Experimental Gerontology

Contribution To Journal


Introduction: Low grip work and high feelings of self-perceived fatigue could be an early characteristic of decline in reserve capacity, which comes to full expression as physical frailty in a later stage. When grip work and self-perceived fatigue can be identified as characteristics differentiating between robustness and pre-frailty it might allow to identify pre-frailty earlier. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate whether the combination of grip work and self-perceived fatigue is related to pre-frailty in well-functioning older adults aged 80 and over. Methods: Four-hundred and five community-dwelling older adults aged 80 and over (214 robust and 191 pre-frail) were assessed for muscle endurance (grip Work corrected for body weight (GW_bw)), self-perceived fatigue (MFI-20) and frailty state (Fried Frailty Index, FFI). A Capacity to Perceived Vitality ratio (CPV) was calculated by dividing GW_bw by the MFI-20 scores. ANCOVA analysis (corrected for age and gender) was used to compare robust and pre-frail older adults, and binary logistic regressions were applied to analyze the relationship between CPV and pre-frailty status. Results: Pre-frail older adults who scored negative on the exhaustion item of the FFI still showed significantly lower GW (p < 0.001), CPV ratios (p < 0.001) and higher self-perceived fatigue (p < 0.05) compared to the robust ones. The likelihood for pre-frailty related significantly to higher age, being men and lower CPV ratios. In women, every unit increase in CPV ratio decreased the likelihood for pre-frailty by 78% (OR 0.22 95% CI: 0.11–0.44), for men this effect was less strong (34%, OR 0.66 95% CI: 0.47–0.93). Conclusions: Pre-frail community-dwelling persons aged 80 years and over without clinical signs of exhaustion on the FFI still experience significantly higher fatigue levels (lower Grip Work, higher self-perceived fatigue and lower CPV levels) compared to robust ones. CPV ratio could therefore be a good tool to identify subclinical fatigue in the context of physical (pre-)frailty.

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