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Objective: To estimate the prevalence of frailty and evaluate the relationship with the social determinants of health in elderly residents in urban and rural areas of Colombia.

Methods: The SABE (Health, Wellbeing, and Aging) Colombia project is a cross-sectional study, carried out in 2014-2015, involving 24,553 men and women aged 60 years and older who live in the community in Colombia. For this analysis, we used data from 4,474 participants included as a subsample with grip strength measurements. The frailty syndrome was diagnosed according to the Fried criteria (weakness, low speed, low physical activity, exhaustion, and weight loss). The independent variables were grouped as (a) biological and genetic flow, (b) lifestyle (adverse conditions in childhood) (c) social networks and community, and (d) socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions. Multiple logistic and linear regression analyses were used to assess the prognostic value of frailty for the outcomes of interest.

Results: The prevalence of frailty was 17.9%. The factors significantly associated with frailty were older age, being women, living in rural areas, having low education, a greater number of medical conditions, insufficient current income, childhood health problems and a poor economic situation in childhood.

Conclusions: Our results support the need to include frailty prevention programs, to improve the socioeconomic health conditions of infants to avoid future development of frailty.

José Ocampo Chaparro, Universidad del Valle. Cali, Colombia


Ocampo Chaparro, J., Reyes Ortiz, C., Castro Flórez, X., & Gómez, F. (2024). Frailty in older adults and their association with social determinants of Health. The SABE Colombia Study. Colombia Medica, 50(2), 89–101. (Original work published June 30, 2019)


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