Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 553–560 | Cite as

Frailty in advanced heart failure: a systematic review

  • Sunita R. JhaEmail author
  • Hakeem S. K. Ha
  • Louise D. Hickman
  • Malin Hannu
  • Patricia M. Davidson
  • Peter S. Macdonald
  • Phillip J. Newton


Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome of increased vulnerability to adverse events. The prevalence of frailty among chronic heart failure (CHF) is high and confers a greater risk of adverse events including falls, hospitalisation and mortality. There have been few studies assessing frailty in CHF. A review of the key databases was conducted from 2004 to 2014 including the key search terms ‘frail elderly’ and ‘heart failure’. The following electronic databases were searched: Medline, Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health and Academic Search Complete, with reference lists being manually searched. Articles were included if frailty was assessed using a valid measuring tool in a population with a confirmed diagnosis of CHF. The search yielded a total of 393 articles with 8 articles being selected for review. The prevalence of frailty among those with CHF was high, ranging from 18 to 54 %. The frailty phenotype and geriatric assessments tools were the most common frailty measures utilised; high rates of co-morbidity, hospitalisation and mortality were identified. Frailty is common in CHF and is associated with adverse outcomes.


Frail elderly Advanced heart failure Review 


Conflict of interest


Ethical standard

The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunita R. Jha
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hakeem S. K. Ha
    • 2
  • Louise D. Hickman
    • 3
  • Malin Hannu
    • 4
  • Patricia M. Davidson
    • 3
    • 5
  • Peter S. Macdonald
    • 4
    • 6
  • Phillip J. Newton
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty Health, Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic CareUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.St Vincent’s Clinical SchoolThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty HealthUniversity of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Heart and Lung ClinicSt Vincent’s HospitalSydneyAustralia
  5. 5.School of NursingJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  6. 6.The Victor Chang Cardiac Research InstituteDarlinghurstAustralia

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