IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 1096: Frailty and Its Contributory Factors in Older Adults: A Comparison of Two Asian Regions (Hong Kong and Taiwan) (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
This study aimed to compare the prevalence of frailty across three Chinese populations: Hong Kong, Taiwan-urban and Taiwan-rural. Contributing factors to disparities in frailty were also examined. Data were derived from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOs) and Women (MsOs) (Hong Kong) Study (n = 4000) and the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging (n = 2392). Frailty was defined as an index calculated from 30 multiple deficits. The ratio of the frailty index to life expectancy at birth (FI/LE) was used as an indicator of compression of morbidity. Frailty was more prevalent in Taiwan-urban (33.1%) and Taiwan-rural (38.1%) compared to Hong Kong (16.6%, p < 0.05) and was higher in women (22.6-49.7%) than in men (10.5-27.5%, p < 0.05). The ratios of FI/LE were higher in Taiwan-urban and Taiwan-rural (both 0.27) compared to Hong Kong (0.20, p < 0.05). Multivariate analyses revealed that older age, being a woman and low levels of physical activity were common risk factors for frailty across the three populations. Alcohol use was inversely associated with frailty in both Hong Kong and Taiwan-urban populations, but not in Taiwan-rural. Living alone was associated with frailty in Hong Kong men, but not in Hong Kong women or Taiwanese people. For all study populations, older age and being a woman constituted the highest attributable factor. This comparison provides useful data to inform government policies.