Association of socioeconomic status measures with physical activity and subsequent frailty in older adults

Mark Kheifets, Abigail Goshen, Uri Goldbourt, Guy Witberg, Alon Eisen, Ran Kornowski, Yariv Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite increased recognition, frailty remains a significant public health challenge. Objective: we aimed to assess the role of education and income, as well as neighborhood socioeconomic status, on physical activity and subsequent frailty in older adults. Methods: Using a population-based cohort of older adults, this study examined the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) factors, physical activity and frailty. The study included 1,799 participants (mean [SD], 74.6 (6.2), 53.3% female) from the "National Health and Nutrition Survey of Older Adults Aged 65 and Over in Israel", conducted in 2005–2006. A follow-up interview was performed 12–14 years later in a subgroup of 601 subjects (mean [SD], age 84[4]; 56% women). Self-reported leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) was measured at both baseline and follow-up. SES measures were assessed at baseline. Frailty was measured at follow-up, using the Fried's Phenotype Model. Results: All SES measures were strongly and positively associated with LTPA (all p < 0.001). Eighty-two participants (14%) were classified as frail at follow-up. After age and sex adjustment and accounting for attrition bias using inverse probability weighting, baseline LTPA (OR = 2.77, 95% CI: 1.57–4.90, for inactivity; OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 0.75–2.68, for insufficient activity, compared with sufficient activity, Ptrend < 0.001) was inversely associated with incident frailty. The association persisted after further adjustment for SES and comorbidity. Conclusion: Among older individuals, multiple SES measures were positively associated with LTPA, which was a strong predictor of lower subsequent frailty risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number439
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Exercise
  • Frailty
  • Prevention
  • Sports


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