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Effect of acute respiratory illness on short‐term frailty status of older adults in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand—June 2015 to June 2016: A prospective matched cohort study
  • Published Date:
    March 07 2019
  • Source:
    Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 13(4):391-397
  • Language:
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  • Alternative Title:
    Influenza Other Respir Viruses
  • Description:
    Background Frailty is associated with increased risk of mortality and decline in functional status among older adults. Older adults are at increased risk of severe disease from acute respiratory illness (ARIs), but ARI effects on frailty status among older adults are not well understood. We evaluated how ARIs affect short‐term frailty status among community‐dwelling adults aged ≥65 years in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. Methods During May 2015 to May 2017, older adults were contacted weekly to identify ARIs as part of a community‐based longitudinal cohort study. Each participant's frailty status was assessed at baseline and every 6 months using the Vulnerable Elders Survey‐13 (VES‐13). We selected cohort participants with an ARI and compared them with a sample of participants without an ARI matched on age, sex, influenza vaccination status, and most recent VES‐13 score. For these matched cohort members, an additional VES‐13 was recorded at 3‐4 weeks after the ARI episode date. Results Of 3220 cohort study participants, 114 participants with an ARI and 111 comparison participants without an ARI were selected for the matched cohort; three comparison participants were matched to two ARI cases. We found no statistically significant difference between ARI and non‐ARI participants in modified VES‐13 score 3‐4 weeks post‐episode (cases = 0.90, controls = 0.63, P = 0.07). Only two ARI episodes required hospitalization. Conclusions Primarily mild ARIs did not affect short‐term frailty status among community‐dwelling older adults in Thailand. As few cases of severe ARI were detected, the contribution of severe ARI to changes in frailty requires further investigation.
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