Characteristics of Frailty in Haemodialysis Patients

Heidy Hendra, Sivakumar Sridharan, Ken Farrington, Andrew Davenport

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Background: Both frailty and cachexia increase mortality in haemodialysis (HD) patients. The clinical frailty score (CFS) is a seven-point scale and less complex than other cachexia and frailty assessments. We wished to determine the characteristics of frail HD patients using the CFS. 
Methods: Single centre cross-sectional study of HD patients completing physical activity questionnaires with bioimpedance measurements of body composition and hand grip strength (HGS). 
Results: We studied 172 HD patients. The CFS classified 54 (31.4%) as frail, who were older (70.4±12.2 vs 56.2 ± 16.1 years, p < 0.001), greater modified Charlson co-morbidity (3 (2–3) versus 1.5 (0–3), p < 0.001), and body fat (33 (25.4–40.2) versus 26.2 (15.8–34) %, p < 0.01), but lower total energy expenditure (1720 (1574–1818) versus 1870 (1670–2194) kcal/day, p < 0.01), lean muscle mass index (9.1 (7.7–10.1) versus 9.9 (8.9–10.8) kg/m2), and HGS (15.3 (10.3–21.9) versus 23.6 (16.7–34.4) kg), both p < 0.001. On multivariable logistic analysis, frailty was independently associated with lower active energy expenditure (odds ratio (OR) 0.98, 95% confidence limits (CL) 0.98–0.99, p = 0.001), diabetes (OR 5.09, CL 1.06–16.66) and HGS (OR 0.92, CL 0.86–0.98). 

Discussion: Frail HD patients reported less active energy expenditure, associated with reduced muscle mass and strength. Frail patients were more likely to have greater co-morbidity, particularly diabetes. Whether physical activity programmes can improve frailty remains to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Journal Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine (GGM)
Early online date6 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2022


  • Brief Report
  • diseases
  • nursing
  • frailty
  • diabetes
  • obesity


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