Association between frailty and ischemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

on behalf of ADVANTAGE JA WP4 group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Frailty is increasingly reported among older adults with cardiovascular diseases and it has been demonstrated to increase negative health outcomes and mortality. To date, no systematic review of the evidence is available regarding the association between frailty and ischemic heart disease (IHD). We performed a systematic review of literature and a meta-analysis to assess the association between frailty and IHD. Methods: We selected all the studies that provided information on the association between frailty and IHD, regardless of the study setting, study design, or definition of IHD and frailty. PubMed, Web of Science and Embase were searched for relevant papers. Studies that adopted the Fried definition for frailty were included in the meta-analyses. For each measure of interest (proportions and estimates of associations), a meta-analysis was performed if at least three studies used the same definition of frailty. Pooled estimates were obtained through random effect models and Mantel-Haenszel weighting. Results: Thirty-seven studies were included. Of these, 22 adopted the Fried criteria to define frailty and provided estimates of prevalence and therefore they were included in meta-analyses. The pooled prevalence of IHD in frail individuals was 17% (95% Confidence Interval [95%CI] 11–23%) and the pooled prevalence of frailty in individuals with IHD was 19% (95% CI 15–24%). The prevalence of frailty among IHD patients ranged from 4 to 61%. Insufficient data were found to assess longitudinal association between frailty and IHD. Conclusions: Frailty is quite common in older persons with IHD. The identification of frailty among older adults with IHD should be considered relevant to provide individualized strategies of cardiovascular prevention and care. Further research should specifically explore the association between frailty and IHD and investigate the potential common biological ground.

Original languageEnglish
Article number357
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Frailty
  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Metanalysis
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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