Accounting for frailty when treating chronic diseases

Published: 8 March 2018
Author(s): Graziano Onder, Davide L. Vetrano, Alessandra Marengoni, J. Simon Bell, Kristina Johnell, Katie Palmer, Optimising Pharmacotherapy through Pharmacoepidemiology Network (OPPEN)
Issue: March 2018
Section: Narrative Review

Chronic diseases are considered to be major determinants of frailty and it could be hypothesized that their treatment may counteract the development of frailty. However, the hypothesis that intensive treatment of chronic diseases might reduce the progression of frailty is poorly supported by existing studies. In contrast, some evidence suggests that intensive treatment of chronic diseases may increase negative health outcomes in frail older adults. In particular, if treatment of symptoms related to chronic diseases (i.e.