The Frequency of Frailty in Ambulatory Patients With Chronic Lung Diseases

Neha Mittal, Rishi Raj, Ebtesam Attaya Islam, Kenneth Nugent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of frailty in patients with chronic lung diseases. Methods: We studied 120 patients with chronic lung disease using Fried’s criteria (gait speed, weight loss, exhaustion, grip strength, and physical activity). Results: The study population (56% women) had a mean age of 64 ± 13 years, mean body mass index of 31± 9 kg/m2, and a mean FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 second) of 60% ± 25% of predicted. The average gait speed was 52.1 ± 14.3 m/min; 18% were frail, 64% prefrail, and 18% robust. Gait speed correlated with frailty status and decreased as frailty worsened (57 m/min in robust subjects and 41 m/min in frail subjects). Slow gait speeds (<60 m/min) had a 95% sensitivity and 34% specificity to predict frailty. Conclusions: Patients with chronic lung disease frequently meet Fried’s criteria for frailty. Gait speed can be used to screen these patients to determine if a more detailed evaluation is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Primary Care & Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • frailty
  • gait speed
  • lung disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Community and Home Care


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