Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Large Type Edition
 QUICK SEARCH:   [advanced]
Year:  Vol:  Page: 

This Article
Right arrow Full Text
Right arrow Full Text (PDF)
Right arrow Alert me when this article is cited
Right arrow Alert me if a correction is posted
Right arrow Similar articles in this journal
Right arrow Similar articles in PubMed
Right arrow Alert me to new issues of the journal
Right arrow Download to citation manager
Right arrow Cited by other online articles
Google Scholar
Right arrow Articles by Chaves, P. H. M.
Right arrow Articles by Fried, L. P.
Right arrow Articles citing this Article
Right arrow PubMed Citation
Right arrow Articles by Chaves, P. H. M.
Right arrow Articles by Fried, L. P.
The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 60:729-735 (2005)
© 2005 The Gerontological Society of America

Impact of Anemia and Cardiovascular Disease on Frailty Status of Community-Dwelling Older Women: The Women's Health and Aging Studies I and II

Paulo H. M. Chaves1,2,3,4,, Richard D. Semba2, Sean X. Leng2, Richard C. Woodman5, Luigi Ferrucci6, Jack M. Guralnik7 and Linda P. Fried1,2,3

1 Center on Aging and Health
Departments of 2 Medicine
3 Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
4 Program of Studies, Debates, Research and Care on the Elderly–UNATI, Rio de Janeiro State University–UERJ, Brazil.
5 Ortho Biotech Clinical Affairs, Bridgewater, New Jersey.
6 Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland.
7 Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland.

Address correspondence to Paulo H. M. Chaves, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, 2024 East Monument Street, Suite 2-700, Baltimore, MD 21205. E-mail: pchaves{at}

Background. The physiological basis of the geriatric syndrome of frailty, a clinical state of increased vulnerability to adverse outcomes such as disability and mortality, remains to be better characterized. We examined the cross-sectional relationship between hemoglobin (Hb) and a recently-validated measure of frailty in community-dwelling older women, and whether this relationship was modified by cardiovascular disease (CVD) status.

Methods. Data were pooled from women 70–80 years old participating in the Women's Health and Aging Studies I and II (Baltimore, MD, 1992–1996) with known frailty status and Hb ≥ 10 g/dL (n = 670). Logistic regression was used to model the relationship between frailty and Hb, adjusting for demographics, major chronic diseases, and physiologic and functional impairments.

Results. Prevalence of frailty was 14%. Frailty risk was highest at the lowest Hb levels, and lowest at mid-normal Hb levels (e.g., 13–14 g/dL). Mildly low and low-normal Hb concentrations were independently associated with frailty. Compared to an Hb concentration equal to 13.5 g/dL, the adjusted odds of being frail were 1.9 (95% confidence interval: 1.1–3.4) and 1.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.0–2.1) times higher for Hb concentrations equal to 11.5 g/dL and 12 g/dL, respectively. A statistically significant (p <.05) multiplicative interaction between Hb level and CVD status with respect to frailty risk was observed.

Conclusion. In community-dwelling older women, mildly low and low-normal Hb levels were independently associated with increased frailty risk. This risk was synergistically modified by the presence of CVD. These results suggest that mild anemia, and even low-normal Hb levels are independent, potentially modifiable risk factors for frailty in community-dwelling older adults.

This article has been cited by other articles: (Search Google Scholar for Other Citing Articles)

Home page
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med SciHome page
B. W. J. H. Penninx, M. Pahor, R. C. Woodman, and J. M. Guralnik
Anemia in Old Age Is Associated With Increased Mortality and Hospitalization
J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci., May 1, 2006; 61(5): 474 - 479.
[Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

All GSA journals The Gerontologist
Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2005 by The Gerontological Society of America.