Physical and brain frailty in ischaemic stroke or TIA: Shared occurrence and outcomes. A cohort study

Martin Taylor-Rowan, Melanie Hafdi, Bogna Drozdowska, Emma Elliott, Joanna Wardlaw, Terence j Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is increasing interest in the concept of frailty in stroke, including both physical frailty and imaging-evidence of brain frailty. We aimed to establish the prevalence of brain frailty in stroke survivors as well as the concurrent and predictive validity of various frailty measures against long-term cognitive outcomes.
We included consecutively admitted stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) survivors from participating stroke centres. Baseline CT scans were used to generate an overall brain frailty score for each participant. We measured frailty via the Rockwood frailty index, and a Fried frailty screening tool. Presence of major or minor neurocognitive disorder at 18-months following stroke or TIA was established via a multicomponent assessment. Prevalence of brain frailty was established based upon observed percentages within groups defined by frailty status (robust, pre-frail, frail). We assessed the concurrent validity of brain frailty and frailty scales via Spearman’s rank correlation. We conducted multivariable logistic regression analyses, controlling for age, sex, baseline education and stroke severity, to evaluate association between each frailty measure and 18-month cognitive impairment.
Three-hundred-forty-one stroke survivors participated. Three-quarters of people who were frail had moderate-severe brain frailty and prevalence increased according to frailty status. Brain frailty was weakly correlated with Rockwood frailty (Rho: 0.336; p < 0.001) and with Fried frailty (Rho: 0.230; p < 0.001). Brain frailty (OR: 1.64, 95% CI = 1.17–2.32), Rockwood frailty (OR: 1.05, 95% CI = 1.02–1.08) and Fried frailty (OR: 1.93, 95% CI = 1.39–2.67) were each independently associated with cognitive impairment at 18 months following stroke.
There appears to be value in the assessment of both physical and brain frailty in patients with ischaemic stroke and TIA. Both are associated with adverse cognitive outcomes and physical frailty remains important when assessing cognitive outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Stroke Journal
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2023


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