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(Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Kafkas, Kars, Turkey)
Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1232-1242
The elderly population is growing in Turkey, as it is worldwide. The average age of residents in rural areas of Turkey is relatively high and is gradually increasing. The purpose of this study is to summarize the fitness and frailty of elderly adults living in a rural area of Turkey characterized by a relatively low level of socioeconomic development.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study was designed as a prospective, cross-sectional study, and was conducted in a rural area of Kars Province. A total of 168 elderly adults (≥65 years old) from 12 central villages were included in the study. The Fried Frailty Criteria was used to assess the frailty of the participants. In addition to frailty, the physical, social, and mental status of elderly adults was examined.
RESULTS: The prevalence of frailty in this rural area of Turkey was 7.1%.The study group ranged in age from 65 to 96 years (mean 72.70±7.73 years), and 53.6% were female. Among the elderly adult group, 84.3% had not completed elementary school, and 43.29% had a monthly income of ≤500 Turkish liras ($200). No significant relationship was identified between gender and frailty. There was a statistically significant relationship between frailty and older age, lower education level, lower economic level, co-morbidities, polypharmacy, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastric disease, arthritis, generalized pain, benign prostatic hyperplasia, urinary incontinence, auditory impairment, impaired oral care, caregiver burden, impaired cognitive function, depression, or a lack of social support (social isolation).
CONCLUSIONS: It is believed that this study will contribute considerably to understanding the health status and needs of elderly adults in Turkey and the health problems of this population as well as to planning the development of public health and geriatric services based on regional needs.