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Revista Médica del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0303-3295On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


GARCIA, Renzo et al. Prevalence of frailty in elective surgery for older adults at Clínicas Hospital. Analysis of the surgical population of older adults at “Dr. Manuel Quintela” University Hospital from March, 2029 to March, 2020. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2023, vol.39, n.1, e205.  Epub Mar 01, 2023. ISSN 0303-3295.

Frailty determines an inability to cope with stressors due to decreased multisystem physiologic reserves. The surgical anesthetic act is a stressful event and the presence of frailty is an independent risk factor for perioperative morbidity and mortality Detection of frailty would allow for addressing reversible factors causing it, with the intention of reducing the risks that are inherent to anesthetic acts.

Detection in the perioperative assessment provides relevant information that is not obtained in a traditional evaluation. This approach has become the standard in perioperative assessment of geriatric surgical patients.

The study aims to assess the prevalence of frailty in elective surgery for the elderly at Clínicas Hospital.


prospective, descriptive study approved by the institutional Ethics Committee. 206 patients aged 65 years old and over who had been coordinated for elective surgery were recruited for the study between March, 2019 and March, 2020. The Reported Edmonton Frailty Scale (REFS) was applied to detect frailty.

Prevalence of frailty was 22.8% with a CI of 16-29 in this population, rather high and similar to the frail patients percentages in other surgical and non-surgical settings. Significantly higher numbers of arterial hypertension, arrhythmias, diabetes and hypothyroidism cases and tobacco users were found among frail patients.

Prevalence and impact of frailty on operative morbidity and mortality are compelling reasons for its inclusion in the perioperative assessment of our health system, as well as the training of anesthesiologists in the detection of frailty through the use of practical, valid and reliable tools.

Keywords : Frailty; Risk assessment; Surgery; Aged; Frailty scores; Prevalence.

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