Frailty is the most common manifestation of serious health issues in the world, and it is becoming more prevalent worldwide as the aging population grows. Changes that occur in an individual during the aging process have physical, psychological, social, and environmental aspects that make an individual more frail. In China, older people may live in communities for aging individuals. This study aimed to describe the presence and severity of frailty and to analyze influencing factors among this population in China. The Frailty Index 35 (FI-35) scale, which includes 35 items in physical, psychological, social, and environmental domains, was used to investigate frailty. The FI-35 score ranges from zero to one, with a score closer to one indicating greater frailty. Biographical, socioeconomic, and lifestyle factors were measured as potential determinants of frailty. We relied on the November 2017-February 2018 waves of the Chinese cross-sectional study survey that comprised a sample of 513 adults, aged 60 or older, who were living in China. Linear regression was performed to identify factors associated with FI-35 scores. We categorized the determinants of frailty into three models: Model 1: biographical variables; Model 2: biographical and socioeconomic variables; and Model 3: biographical, economic, and lifestyle variables. Frailty scores ranged from 0.00 to 0.89, with a median of 0.31, and the prevalence of frailty was 67.6%. The final model obtained after variable selection included age, minority status, marriage status, income, diet, and exercise. The adjusted R-squared indicated that the analysis explained 13.8% of the variance in frailty scores. Adding household, marriage status, education level, medical insurance, and income as elements in Model 2 explained 25.7%. Adding diet, smoking, drinking, exercise, and hobbies in Model 3 explained 27.9%. The degree of frailty varies considerably among Chinese community-dwelling older people and is partly determined by biographical, socioeconomic, and lifestyle factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-324
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • nursing
  • geriatry
  • china


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