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Social isolation and loneliness as risk factors for the progression of frailty

Social isolation and loneliness as risk factors for the progression of frailty
Social isolation and loneliness as risk factors for the progression of frailty
Background: loneliness and social isolation have been associated with mortality and with functional decline in older people. We investigated whether loneliness or social isolation are associated with progression of frailty.

Methods: participants were 2817 people aged ≥60 from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Loneliness was assessed at Wave 2 using the Revised UCLA scale (short version). A social isolation score at Wave 2 was derived from data on living alone, frequency of contact with friends, family and children, and participation in social organizations. Frailty was assessed by the Fried phenotype of physical frailty at Waves 2 and 4, and by a frailty index at Waves 2-5.

Results: high levels of loneliness were associated with an increased risk of becoming physically frail or pre-frail around 4 years later: relative risk ratios (95% CI), adjusted for age, sex, level of frailty and other potential confounding factors at baseline were 1.74 (1.29, 2.34) for pre-frailty, and 1.85 (1.14, 2.99) for frailty. High levels of loneliness were not associated with change in the frailty index—a broadly-based measure of general condition--over a mean period of 6 years. In the sample as a whole, there was no association between social isolation and risk of becoming physically frail or pre-frail, but high social isolation was associated with increased risk of becoming physically frail in men. Social isolation was not associated with change in the frailty index.

Conclusions: older people who experience high levels of loneliness are at increased risk of becoming physically frail.
0002-0729
392-397
Gale, Catharine
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Westbury, Leo
5ed45df3-3df7-4bf9-bbad-07b63cd4b281
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Gale, Catharine
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Westbury, Leo
5ed45df3-3df7-4bf9-bbad-07b63cd4b281
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6

Gale, Catharine, Westbury, Leo and Cooper, Cyrus (2018) Social isolation and loneliness as risk factors for the progression of frailty. Age and Ageing, 47 (3), 392-397. (doi:10.1093/ageing/afx188).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: loneliness and social isolation have been associated with mortality and with functional decline in older people. We investigated whether loneliness or social isolation are associated with progression of frailty.

Methods: participants were 2817 people aged ≥60 from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Loneliness was assessed at Wave 2 using the Revised UCLA scale (short version). A social isolation score at Wave 2 was derived from data on living alone, frequency of contact with friends, family and children, and participation in social organizations. Frailty was assessed by the Fried phenotype of physical frailty at Waves 2 and 4, and by a frailty index at Waves 2-5.

Results: high levels of loneliness were associated with an increased risk of becoming physically frail or pre-frail around 4 years later: relative risk ratios (95% CI), adjusted for age, sex, level of frailty and other potential confounding factors at baseline were 1.74 (1.29, 2.34) for pre-frailty, and 1.85 (1.14, 2.99) for frailty. High levels of loneliness were not associated with change in the frailty index—a broadly-based measure of general condition--over a mean period of 6 years. In the sample as a whole, there was no association between social isolation and risk of becoming physically frail or pre-frail, but high social isolation was associated with increased risk of becoming physically frail in men. Social isolation was not associated with change in the frailty index.

Conclusions: older people who experience high levels of loneliness are at increased risk of becoming physically frail.

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Clean version_Anonymised_Social isolation loneliness and frailty change Age Ageing_6 nov - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 17 November 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 December 2017
Published date: May 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416287
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416287
ISSN: 0002-0729
PURE UUID: 3bf6e57b-5dc8-4725-a0da-1a48bb0847b2
ORCID for Catharine Gale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3361-8638
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Dec 2017 17:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 05:26

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