Introduction: Frailty is one of the greatest challenges facing our aging population, as it can lead to adverse outcomes such as institutionalization, hospitalization, and mortality. However, the factors that are associated with frailty are poorly understood. We performed a systematic review of longitudinal studies in order to identify the sociodemographic, physical, biological, lifestyle-related, and psychological risk or protective factors that are associated with frailty among community-dwelling older adults. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in the following databases in order to identify studies that assessed the factors associated with of frailty among community-dwelling older adults: Embase, Medline Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane, PsychINFO Ovid, CINAHL EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar. Studies were selected if they included a longitudinal design, focused on community-dwelling older adults aged 60 years and older, and used a tool to assess frailty. The methodological quality of each study was assessed using the Quality of Reporting of Observational Longitudinal Research checklist. Results: Twenty-three studies were included. Significant associations were reported between the following types of factors and frailty: sociodemographic factors (7/7 studies), physical factors (5/6 studies), biological factors (5/7 studies), lifestyle factors (11/13 studies), and psychological factors (7/8 studies). Significant sociodemographic factors included older age, ethnic background, neighborhood, and access to private insurance or Medicare; significant physical factors included obesity and activities of daily living (ADL) functional status; significant biological factors included serum uric acid; significant lifestyle factors included a higher Diet Quality Index International (DQI) score, higher fruit/vegetable consumption and higher tertile of all measures of habitual dietary resveratrol exposure; significant psychological factors included depressive symptoms. Conclusions: A broad range of sociodemographic, physical, biological, lifestyle, and psychological factors show a longitudinal association with frailty. These factors should be considered when developing interventions aimed at preventing and/or reducing the burden associated with frailty among community-dwelling older adults.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Feng, Z. (Zeyun), Lugtenberg, M, Franse, C. (Carmen), Fang, X. (Xinye), Hu, S. (Shanlian), Jin, C. (Chunlin), & Raat, H. (2017). Risk factors and protective factors associated with incident or increase of frailty among community-dwelling older adults: A systematic review of longitudinal studies. PLoS ONE, 12(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0178383