Development and Validation of an Abridged Physical Frailty Phenotype for Clinical Use: A Cohort Study Among Kidney Transplant Candidates

Xiaomeng Chen, Nadia M. Chu, Valerie Thompson, Evelien E. Quint, Sami Alasfar, Qian Li Xue, Daniel C. Brennan, Silas P. Norman, Bonnie E. Lonze, Jeremy D. Walston, Dorry L. Segev, Mara A. McAdams-DeMarco*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    BACKGROUND: Frailty is associated with poor outcomes in surgical patients including kidney transplant (KT) recipients. Transplant centers that measure frailty have better pre- and postoperative outcomes. However, clinical utility of existing tools is low due to time constraints. To address this major barrier to implementation in the preoperative evaluation of patients, we developed an abridged frailty phenotype. 

    METHODS: The abridged frailty phenotype was developed by simplifying the 5 physical frailty phenotype (PFP) components in a two-center prospective cohort of 3 220 KT candidates and tested for efficiency (time to completion) in 20 candidates evaluation (January 2009 to March 2020). We examined area under curve (AUC) and Cohen's kappa agreement to compare the abridged assessment with the PFP. We compared waitlist mortality risk (competing risks models) by frailty using the PFP and abridged assessment, respectively. Model discrimination was assessed using Harrell's C-statistic. 

    RESULTS: Of 3 220 candidates, the PFP and abridged assessment identified 23.8% and 27.4% candidates as frail, respectively. The abridged frailty phenotype had substantial agreement (kappa = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.66-0.71) and excellent discrimination (AUC = 0.861). Among 20 patients at evaluation, abridged assessment took 5-7 minutes to complete. The PFP and abridged assessment had similar associations with waitlist mortality (subdistribution hazard ratio [SHR] = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.26-2.08 vs SHR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.33-2.16) and comparable mortality discrimination (p = .51). 

    CONCLUSIONS: The abridged assessment is an efficient and valid way to identify frailty. It predicts waitlist mortality without sacrificing discrimination. Surgical departments should consider utilizing the abridged assessment to evaluate frailty in patients when time is limited.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberglad173
    Number of pages8
    JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2024


    • Epidemiology
    • Frailty
    • Kidney

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