Gender differences in the prevalence of frailty in heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Mary Roberts Davis, Christopher S. Lee, Amy Corcoran, Nandita Gupta, Izabella Uchmanowicz, Quin E. Denfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study quantitatively synthesized literature to identify gender differences in the prevalence of frailty in heart failure (HF). Background: The intersection of frailty and HF continues to garner interest. Almost half of patients with HF are frail; however, gender differences in frailty in HF are poorly understood. Methods: We performed a literature search to identify studies that reported prevalence of frailty by gender in HF. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to quantify the relative and absolute risk of frailty in women compared with men with HF, overall, and by Physical and Multidimensional Frailty measures. Meta-regression was performed to examine the influence of study age and functional class on relative risk in HF. Results: Twenty-nine studies involving 8854 adults with HF were included. Overall in HF, women had a 26% higher relative risk of being frail compared with men (95% CI = 1.14–1.38, z = 4.69, p < 0.001, I2 = 76.5%). The overall absolute risk for women compared to men with HF being frail was 10% (95% CI = 0.06–0.15, z = 4.41, p < 0.001). The relative risk of frailty was slightly higher among studies that used Physical measures (relative risk = 1.27, p < 0.001) compared with studies that used Multidimensional measures (relative risk = 1.24, p = 0.024). There were no significant relationships between relative risk and either study age or functional class. Conclusions: In HF, frailty affects women significantly more than men. Future work should focus on elucidating potential causes of gender differences in frailty in HF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021


  • Aging
  • Frailty
  • Gender
  • Heart failure
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in the prevalence of frailty in heart failure: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this