Level of frailty in different economies of the world and different groups of people

Sign of older or frail people (Image credit: Monceau/Flickr)

Main Point:

Researchers have found that the adults, who have less education and income, are more prone to be frail, i.e. physically weak, in the older ages whether they are from lower income countries or from higher income countries.

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Study Further:

Researchers, in the present study, utilized the two multi-country studies: the Study on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE).

Interesting finding of the study is that the level of frailty is higher in the higher income countries as compared to the lower income countries.

“The finding that frailty is higher in the higher income countries could be due to „survivor bias” as we briefly mention in the paper,” Sebastian Vollmer, corresponding author of the paper, told SayPeople.com. “Within the group of the higher income countries it is the countries with higher GDP per capita that have lower frailty.”

Researchers have also reported that women have more chances of being frail.

According to the study, highest frailty has been shown in Italy, Spain, Poland and Russian Federation while Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland and China showed lowest frailty. You can see the box plots of the frailty index by country below:

Box plots of the frailty index by country (Image credit: Kenneth Harttgen et al./PLoS ONE)

Frailty can result in a number of different disorders in the body. “Understanding this further in a range of settings will help identify individuals at risk of becoming frail and refine interventions for prevention and treatment that will likely range from nutritional therapies to improving physical activity,” Researchers noted.

Research Suggestions:

Here, in my view, we can research the effect of nation’s milk consumption, chocolate consumption, alcohol consumption, and geographical parameters on the frailty.


Harttgen K, Kowal P, Strulik H, Chatterji S, Vollmer S (2013). Patterns of Frailty in Older Adults: Comparing Results from Higher and Lower Income Countries Using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE). PLoS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075847

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."

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