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The association between living alone and frailty in a rural Japanese population: the Nagasaki Islands study

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Title: The association between living alone and frailty in a rural Japanese population: the Nagasaki Islands study
Authors: Yamanashi, Hirotomo / Shimizu, Yuji / Nelson, Mark / Koyamatsu, Jun / Nagayoshi, Mako / Kadota, Koichiro / Tamai, Mami / Ariyoshi, Koya / Maeda, Takahiro
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Publisher: Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners
Citation: Journal of Primary Health Care, 7(4), pp.269-273; 2015
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Demographic changes in Japan have resulted in an increased number of elderly living alone. AIM: The aim of this study was to identify if there is an association between frailty and living alone. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1602 Japanese men and women living in isolated islands. Information obtained included height, body weight, handgrip strength, and family structure; antihypertensive, hypoglycaemic, and lipid-lowering medication use; history of stroke or ischaemic heart disease, smoking history, alcohol intake, joint pain or swelling. Relevant laboratory test results were obtained from recent health check-ups. The Frailty Index for Japanese elderly, a 15-item self-report questionnaire was completed by participants and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) was administered. RESULTS: After individuals aged below 60 years old or those with missing data were excluded, data from 1224 participants were analysed. Living alone (single household family structure) was significantly associated with frailty in men (odds ratio [OR] 3.85; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.94–7.65), but not in women (OR 1.08; 95% CI 0.72–1.63). This association in men remained statistically significant after adjustment for known risk factors for frailty. DISCUSSION: In the elderly population in rural Nagasaki, men living alone have a high risk of frailty. Screening and intervention to prevent frailty in this population is urgently needed.
Keywords: Frail elderly / Independent living / Japan / Living arrangement / Risk factors / Rural population
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10069/36197
ISSN: 11726164
Rights: (c) 2015 Yamanashi H, et al. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Type: Journal Article
Text Version: publisher
Appears in Collections:Articles in academic journal

Citable URI : http://hdl.handle.net/10069/36197

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