Objective Few European studies examined frailty among older persons from diverse ethnic backgrounds. We aimed to examine the association of ethnic background with frailty. In addition, we explored the association of ethnic background with distinct components that are considered to be relevant for frailty. Design and setting This was a cross-sectional study of pooled data of The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimum DataSet (TOPICS) in the Netherlands. Participants Community-dwelling persons aged 55 years and older with a Dutch, Indonesian, Surinamese, Moroccan or Turkish ethnic background were included (n=23 371). Measurements Frailty was assessed with the validated TOPICS-Frailty Index that consisted of 45 items. The TOPICS-Frailty Index contained six components: morbidities, limitations in activities of daily living (ADL), limitations in instrumental ADL, health-related quality of life, psychosocial health and self-rated health. To examine the associations of ethnic background with frailty and with distinct frailty components, we estimated multilevel random-intercept models adjusted for confounders. Results TOPICS-Frailty Index scores varied from 0.19 (SD=0.12) among persons with a Dutch background to 0.29 (SD=0.15) in persons with a Turkish background. After adjustment for age, sex, living arrangement and education level, persons with a Turkish, Moroccan or Surinamese background were frailer compared with persons with a Dutch background (p<0.001). There were no significant differences in frailty between persons with an Indonesian compared with a Dutch background. The IADL component scores were higher among all groups with a non-Dutch background compared with persons with a Dutch background (p<0.05 or lower for all groups). Conclusions Compared with older persons with a Dutch background, persons with a Surinamese, Moroccan or Turkish ethnic background were frailer. Targeted intervention strategies should be developed for the prevention and reduction of frailty among these older immigrants.

Additional Metadata
Keywords aged, community-dwelling, ethnicbackground, frailty
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022241, hdl.handle.net/1765/110303
Journal BMJ Open
Citation
Franse, C.B. (Carmen Betsy), van Grieken, A, Qin, L. (Li), Melis, R.J.F, Rietjens, J.A.C, & Raat, H. (2018). Ethnic differences in frailty: A cross-sectional study of pooled data from community-dwelling older persons in the Netherlands. BMJ Open, 8(8). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022241