Micronucleus frequency in peripheral blood lymphocytes and frailty status in elderly. A lack of association with clinical features

Vanessa Valdiglesias, Stefano Bonassi, Valentina Dell'Armi, Silvana Settanni, Michela Celi, Simona Mastropaolo, Manuela Antocicco, Massimo Fini, Graziano Onder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frailty is a condition of vulnerability that carries an increased risk of poor outcome in elder adults. Frail individuals show fatigue, weight loss, muscle weakness, and a reduced physical function, and are known to frequently experience disability, social isolation, and institutionalization. Identifying frail people is a critical step for geriatricians to provide timely geriatric care and, eventually, to improve the quality of life in elderly. The aim of the present study is to investigate the association between frailty status and micronucleus (MN) frequency, a known marker of genomic instability, in a sample of elder adults. Several clinical features were evaluated and their possible association with MN frequency was tested. Criteria proposed by Fried were used to identify frail subjects. Overall, 180 elder adults entered the study, 93 of them (51.7%) frail. No association between MN frequency and frailty status was found under the specific conditions tested in this study (mean ratio. = 1.06; 95% CI 0.96-1.18). The inclusion of MN frequency in the Fried's frailty scale minimally improved the classification of study subjects according to the multidimensional prognostic index (MPI). The presence of genomic instability in the ageing process and in most chronic diseases, demands further investigation on this issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Elderly
  • Frailty
  • Genomic instability
  • Micronucleus assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Medicine(all)


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