Review Article| Volume 22, ISSUE 3, P535-543.e7, March 2021

Frailty as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Published:November 18, 2020DOI:



      To perform a comprehensive evidence synthesis to summarize the impact of frailty on health outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).


      Systematic reviews and meta-analysis.


      Electronic searches in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, CNKI, VIP, CBM, and Wanfang Database were performed. The methodological quality was evaluated using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale (NOS).


      Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).


      Potential clinical outcomes due to frailty.


      Eighteen cohort studies incorporating a total of 22,788 participants were included. The overall risk of bias was low. The median reported prevalence of frail and prefrail individuals with CKD was 41.8% (range 2.8-81.5%) and 43.9% (range 19.1-62.7%), respectively. Prefrailty and frailty related to mortality indicated an increased hazard ratio (HR), with a pooled HR of 1.68 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.46-1.94; P < .001] and 1.48 (95% CI 1.21-1.81; P < .001), respectively. Prefrailty and frailty related to hospitalization with the pooled HR/risk ratio (RR) of 1.56 (95% CI 1.37-1.76; P < .001) and 1.21 (95% CI 0.79-1.85; P = .38), respectively. Similarly, the pooled HR demonstrated a strong correlation between frailty and falls in patients with CKD with HR 1.83 (95% CI 1.40-2.37; P < .001) and no statistical correlation between prefrailty and falls in these patients with pooled HR 1.19 (95% CI 0.44-3.22; P = .73), respectively.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Frailty is predictive of negative outcomes in patients with CKD, including all-cause mortality, all-cause hospitalization, and falls. Therefore, frailty should be routinely assessed among patients with CKD to prevent poor prognosis, reduce fatality rate, and provide evidence to support future targeted interventions. However, because of the limited amount of information currently in the literature, additional prospective studies are needed to explore the role of prefrailty in predicting adverse outcomes for patients with CKD.


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