Hospital frailty risk score and adverse health outcomes: Evidence from longitudinal record linkage cardiac data

Son Nghiem*, Clifford Afoakwah, Paul Scuffham, Joshua Byrnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite recent evidence on the effect of frailty on health outcomes among those with heart failure, there is a dearth of knowledge on measuring frailty using administrative health data on a wide range of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Methods:We conducted a retrospective record-linkage cohort study of patients with diverse CVD in Queensland, Australia. We investigated the relationship between the risk of frailty, defined using the hospital frailty risk score (HFRS), and 30-day mortality, 30-day unplanned readmission, non-home discharge, length of hospital stay (LOS) at an emergency department and inpatient units and costs of hospitalisation. Descriptive analysis, bivariate logistic regression and generalised linear models were used to estimate the association between HFRS and CVD outcomes. Smear adjustment was applied to hospital costs and the LOS for each frailty risk groups. Results: The proportion of low, medium and high risk of frailty was 24.6%, 34.5% and 40.9%, respectively. The odds of frail patients dying or being readmitted within 30 days of discharge was 1.73 and 1.18, respectively. Frail patients also faced higher odds of LOS, and non-home discharge at 3.1 and 2.25, respectively. Frail patients incurred higher hospital costs (by 42.7-55.3%) and stayed in the hospital longer (by 49%). Conclusion: Using the HFRS on a large CVD cohort, this study confirms that frailty was associated with worse health outcomes and higher healthcare costs. Administrative data should be more accessible to research such that the HFRS can be applied to healthcare planning and patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1778-1784
Number of pages7
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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