Frailty is a multidimensional syndrome. However, typical frailty scales used in oncology clinics assess physical impairment and/or malnutrition but do not consider the social domain. Our study aimed to clarify the relationship between preoperative social frailty and overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) among older patients with gastrointestinal cancer.
This was a prospective cohort study.
Setting and Participants
This single-center study recruited 195 patients with gastrointestinal cancer scheduled for curative surgery and aged >60 years.
The outcomes considered were the OS and CSS of surgery. Primary associated factors included frailty defined as a Geriatric 8 score ≤14; social frailty defined as 2 or more of the following—going out less frequently, rarely visiting friends, feeling unhelpful to friends or family, living alone, and not talking with someone daily, and combinations therein [no frailty without social frailty (−/−), frailty without social frailty (+/−), no frailty with social frailty (−/+), and frailty with social frailty (+/+)]. We used the Cox proportional hazards model and the Fine and Gray proportional subdistribution hazard model adjusting for confounding factors.
Of the 195 patients, 181 (mean age, 72.0 years) were included for analysis. The median follow-up time was 994 days. Social frailty (hazard ratio 3.10) and their combinations [6.35; frailty with social frailty (+/+) vs no frailty without social frailty (−/−)] were significant predictors of OS. Social frailty (subdistribution hazard ratio 3.23) and their combinations (7.57) were significant predictors of CSS.
Conclusions and Implications
Preoperative social frailty is a predictor of OS and CSS in older patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Screening for social frailty, frailty, and their combinations in older patients with cancer is important.
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Published online: April 28, 2021
Funding Sources; This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (Grant number 15K01367 and 19K11345).
The authors declare no conflicts of interest
© 2021 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.