In this study of adult surgical patients across all ages, frailty was associated with higher postoperative rates of major illness and readmissions as well as increased costs.
Of 14,530 patients (31.9% inpatient, 68.1% outpatient) analyzed, 3.4% had high frailty (5.3% of inpatients and 2.5% of outpatients).
Compared with low frailty, the presence of high frailty was linked to significantly worse 30-day outcomes, including:
Intermediate frailty also significantly increased the risk of all adverse outcomes.
The broad applicability of frailty across surgical specialties has the potential to be a risk stratification tool for surgeons and their patients, the researchers conclude.