Frailty is characterized by decreased physiological reserve and increased vulnerability to atherosclerosis and subsequent mortality. Recently, low-grade albuminuria has been proposed as an atherosclerotic risk factor. We aimed to investigate the relationship between low-grade albuminuria and frailty by using cross-sectional data among community-dwelling middle-aged and older people. Totally, 1,441 inhabitants of I-Lan County with normal urinary albumin excretion (urine albumin to urine creatinine ratio [UACR] <30 mg/g) were enrolled (677 men; mean age 63 ± 9 years, range from 50 to 91 years old). Assessment of frailty was based on the 'Fried frailty phenotype' criteria, including weight loss, grip strength, exhaustion, slowness and low physical activity. The study population was stratified into quartiles according to UACR levels. Age, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, insulin resistance, fasting glucose and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels were increased with the increment of UACR (P for trend <0.05). The prevalence of prefrailty/frailty and its components increased across the UACR quartiles. A multivariate stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that UACR was independently associated with the likelihood of prefrailty/frailty (odds ratio 1.13, 95% CI 1.01-1.27). In conclusion, low-grade albuminuria is associated with the increased prevalence of prefrailty/frailty.
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