The Association of Frailty With Long-Term Outcomes in Patients With Acute Respiratory Failure Treated With Noninvasive Ventilation

Author Department

Medicine; Internal Medicine; Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and impact of frailty on mortality in patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) treated with noninvasive ventilation (NIV). This was a single-center, prospective study of patients who developed ARF (irrespective of etiology) and were treated with NIV support. Frailty was assessed using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). We modeled the relationship of CFS with one-year mortality using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusting for other clinical and demographic characteristics. Of the 166 patients enrolled, 48% had moderate to severe frailty. These patients were more likely to be female (67% versus 33%) and on oxygen therapy at home (46% versus 28%). The median CFS score was 5 (interquartile range (IQR): 5-6). Moderate to severe frailty was associated with a 60% higher risk of one-year mortality (hazard ratio (HR): 1.63, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15-2.31). Frailty assessment may identify patients in need of ventilatory support who are at increased risk of mortality and may be an important factor to consider when discussing goals of care in this vulnerable population.

Keywords: acute respiratory failure; critical illness; frailty; mortality; noninvasive ventilation.