Introduction: Frailty (F) refers to the cumulative organic damage caused by aging, as a consequence of a diminished physiological reserve. Frailty’s prevalence is 73% in dialysis.
Objectives: Our aim was to identify the prevalence of F in patients starting hemodialysis (HD) or hemodiafiltration online (HDF) treatment to asses change in frailty during a six-month period of dialysis.
Patients and Methods: This prospective cohort study evaluated 67 incident patient starting-HD or HDF at one year, with a follow-up period of at least six months. The frailty was assessed by the Fried frailty method. According to this test, we divided the population in two groups: Pre-frail (0-2) and frail (3-5).
Results: Mean age was 64 years, 64% were male and 92% were treated with HD. A total of 35.8% of the patients were admitted to dialysis with a prosthetic or native fistula. The prevalence of F at the beginning of dialysis was 65.7%. The mean value of Charlson index (CHI) was 5.2 ± 2. There was a significant correlation between CHI and frailty test (P<0.0001). Basal F score (n=67) improved after 6 month (n=52): 3 (2-4) versus1 (1-2) (P<0.0001). Hematocrit (28 versus 32% P=0.05) and calcium levels (8.6 and 8.9 mg/dL, P<0.002) also increased after sixth-month. Global mortality was 7.5%. In the multivariate analysis CHI (P<0.001) and albumin (P=0.003) were frailty predictors.
Conclusion: The prevalence of F in patients who start dialysis therapy is high. There was an improvement in F score after six-month of dialysis treatment. Patients with higher F score had higher mortality with higher CHI.