HIV-Related Frailty Is Not Characterized by Sarcopenia

Hilary Caitlyn Rees, Edward Meister, Martha Jane Mohler, Stephen A. Klotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Frailty is common in HIV-infected patients, but its causes are elusive. We assessed 122 clinic patients for frailty using the 5-measure Fried Frailty criteria. The prevalence of frailty was 19% (n = 23) and all frail patients reported exhaustion with a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score >16 indicating depression. The next most common criterion was low physical activity (expenditure of kcal/week). Markers of sarcopenia such as decreased grip strength and decreased gait speed, hallmarks of frailty in the elderly, were the least common of the 5 criteria. Frailty was reversible: 6 frail patients returned for reassessment and only 2 were frail. We conclude that frailty in the HIV-infected patients is potentially reversible and strongly associated with depression and low physical activity, whereas frailty in the elderly is associated with aging-related sarcopenia and is often irreversible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • depression
  • frailty
  • inactivity
  • sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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