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Background: This study determined (1) whether a change in frailty status after a 1 year follow up is associated with healthcare utilization and evaluated (2) whether a change in frailty status after a 1 year follow up and health care utilization are associated with all-cause mortality in a sample of Taiwan population. Methods: This work is a population-based prospective cohort study involving residents aged ≥65 years in 2009. A total of 548 elderly patients who received follow-ups in the subsequent year were included in the current data analysis. Fried frailty phenotype was measured at baseline and 1 year. Information on the outpatient visits of each specialty doctor, emergency care utilization, and hospital admission during the 2 month period before the second interview was collected through standardized questionnaires administered by an interviewer. Deaths were verified by indexing to the national database of deaths. Results: At the subsequent 1 year follow-up, 73 (13.3%), 356 (64.9%), and 119 (21.7%) elderly participants exhibited deterioration, no change in status, and improvement in frailty states, respectively. Multivariate logistic analysis showed the high risk of any type of outpatient use (odds ratios [OR] 1.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–3.71) among older adults with worse frailty status compared with those who were robust at baseline and had unchanged frailty status after 1 year. After multivariate adjustment, participants with high outpatient clinic utilization had significantly higher mortality than those with low outpatient clinic visits among unchanged pre-frail or frail (hazard ratios [HR] 2.79, 95% CI: 1.46–5.33) and frail to pre-frail/robust group (HR 9.32, 95% CI: 3.82–22.73) if the unchanged robustness and low outpatient clinic visits group was used as the reference group. Conclusions: The conditions associated with frailty status, either after 1 year or at baseline, significantly affected the outpatient visits and may have increased medical expenditures. Combined change in frailty status and number of outpatient visits is related to increased mortality.
Li, C. M., Lin, C. H., Li, C. I., Liu, C. S., Lin, W. Y., Li, T. C., & Lin, C. C. (2021). Frailty status changes are associated with healthcare utilization and subsequent mortality in the elderly population. BMC Public Health, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10688-x