OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed at investigating the prevalence of prefrailty and frailty in South American older adults according to the setting and region. DESIGN: A literature search combining the terms "frailty", "South America" or a specific country name was performed on PubMed, EMBASE, Lilacs, and Scielo to retrieve articles published in English, Portuguese or Spanish on or before August 2019. PARTICIPANTS: Older adults aged 60+ years from any setting classified as frail according to a validated scale were included in the study. MEASUREMENTS: Frailty assessment by a validated scale. RESULTS: One-hundred eighteen reports (98 performed from Brazil, seven from Chile, five from Peru, four from Colombia, two from Ecuador, one from Argentina, and one from Venezuela) were included in the study. The mean prevalence of prefrailty in South America was 46.8% (50.7% in older in-patients, 47.6% in the community, and 29.8% in nursing-home residents). The mean prevalence of frailty in South America was 21.7% (55.8% in nursing-home residents, 39.1% in hospitalized older adults, and 23.0% in the community). CONCLUSIONS: Prefrailty and frailty are highly prevalent in South American older adults, with rates higher than those reported in Europe and Asia. In the community, almost one-in-two is prefrail and one-in-five is frail, while hospitalized persons and nursing-home residents are more frequently affected. These findings indicate the need for immediate attention to avoid frailty progression toward negative health outcomes. Our findings also highlight the need for specific guidelines for the management of frailty in South America.
- Latin America
- Observational Studies as Topic
- South America
- low-income countries