The study aimed to investigate the association between body composition and frailty in elder inpatients.
This is a cross-sectional study including 656 elder inpatients (275 females and 381 males) aged ≥65 years, from department of geriatrics of Zhejiang Hospital between January 2018 and March 2019. Sociodemographic, health-related data and anthropometric measurements were evaluated. Body composition was assessed by bioimpedance analysis (BIA), mainly including skeletal muscle mass, body fat mass, total body water, fat-free mass,percent body fat, basal metabolic rate. Frailty was assessed by Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). Univariate logistic regression was used to analyze the association between body composition and frailty.
Frailty was present in 43.9% of the participants. Frail inpatients showed higher waist circumference, body fat mass and percent body fat, non-frail inpatients showed greater upper arm circumference, calf circumference, skeletal muscle mass, total body water, fat-free mass and basal metabolic rate. Subjects with underweight (body mass index (BMI)<18.5 kg/m; odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI)=4.146 (1.286-13.368) P=0.017) and those with high waist circumference (OR 95% CI=1.428 (0.584-3.491) P<0.001), body fat mass (OR, 95% CI=1.143 (0.892-1.315) P<0.001) presented a higher risk of frailty compared to normal subjects. Skeletal muscle mass (OR; 95% CI=0.159 (0.064-0.396) P<0.001) was a protective factor for frailty.
Frailty in elder Chinese inpatients was characterized by a body composition phenotype with underweight, high waist circumference, low skeletal muscle mass and high body fat mass. Underweight, abdominal obesity and sarcopenic obesity may, therefore, be targets for intervention of frailty.

© 2020 Xu et al.