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The world’s population is ageing, and most older adults experience a later life burdened with disease and disability. Frailty is a multi-dimensional and dynamic condition characterised by declines in reserve and function across multiple physiologic systems, such that the ability to cope with every day or acute stressors becomes compromised. It is projected to become one of the most serious public health challenges economically developed societies will face in the coming century. This review provides a comprehensive overview of frailty, exploring its pathophysiology, theoretical and operational definition(s), impact, prevalence, management, and prevention, within the context of its emergence as a major public health challenge, in an increasingly economically developed and ageing world. Further, this review discusses the major limitations, deficiencies, and knowledge gaps presently within the field, and future research directions pertinent to the advancement of frailty research and the promotion of healthy longevity among the increasing global population of older adults.

Original publication




Journal article




S. Karger AG

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