Frailty Prevalence in Younger End-Stage Kidney Disease Patients Undergoing Dialysis and Transplantation

Nadia M. Chu, Xiaomeng Chen, Silas P. Norman, Jessica Fitzpatrick, Stephen M. Sozio, Bernard G. Jaar, Alena Frey, Michelle M. Estrella, Qian Li Xue, Rulan S. Parekh, Dorry L. Segev, Mara A. McAdams-Demarco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Frailty, originally characterized in community-dwelling older adults, is increasingly being studied and implemented for adult patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) of all ages (18 years). Frailty prevalence and manifestation are unclear in younger adults (18-64 years) with ESKD; differences likely exist based on whether the patients are treated with hemodialysis (HD) or kidney transplantation (KT). Methods: We leveraged 3 cohorts: 378 adults initiating HD (2008-2012), 4,304 adult KT candidates (2009-2019), and 1,396 KT recipients (2008-2019). The frailty phenotype was measured within 6 months of dialysis initiation, at KT evaluation, and KT admission. Prevalence of frailty and its components was estimated by age (≥65 vs. <65 years). A Wald test for interactions was used to test whether risk factors for frailty differed by age. Results: In all 3 cohorts, frailty prevalence was higher among older than younger adults (HD: 71.4 vs. 47.3%; candidates: 25.4 vs. 18.8%; recipients: 20.8 vs. 14.3%). In all cohorts, older patients were more likely to have slowness and weakness but less likely to report exhaustion. Among candidates, older age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.47-2.17), non-Hispanic black race (OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.08-1.57), and dialysis type (HD vs. no dialysis: OR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.61-2.64; peritoneal dialysis vs. no dialysis: OR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.28-2.48) were associated with frailty prevalence, but sex and Hispanic ethnicity were not. These associations did not differ by age (p<subinteractions</sub 0.1). Similar results were observed for recipients and HD patients. Conclusions: Although frailty prevalence increases with age, younger patients have a high burden. Clinicians caring for this vulnerable population should recognize that younger patients may experience frailty and screen all age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-510
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Frailty Prevalence in Younger End-Stage Kidney Disease Patients Undergoing Dialysis and Transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this