HealthDay News — The association between sedentary time and mortality varies with level of frailty among adults aged 50 years and older, according to a study published online in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Using data from 3141 community-dwelling adults aged 50 years and older, Olga Theou, PhD, from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and colleagues examined the correlation between sedentary behaviors, measured using uniaxial accelerometers, and frailty, which was based on a 46-item frailty index.

The researchers found that sedentary time was not predictive of mortality for people with low levels of frailty (frailty index score ≤ 0.1), regardless of physical activity level (adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 0.90; 95% CI, 0.70-1.15).

Sedentary time was associated with higher mortality among people who were vulnerable (0.1 < frailty index score ≤ 0.2) or frail (frailty index score > 0.2), only for those who were physically inactive (HR, 1.16 [95% CI, 1.02-1.33] for those with 0.1 < frailty index score ≤ 0.2; HR, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.11-1.46] for 0.2 < frailty index score ≤ 0.3; and HR, 1.34 [95% CI, 1.19-1.50] for frailty index score > 0.3).

“The effect of sedentary behaviors on mortality varied by level of frailty,” the authors write. “Adults with the highest frailty level experienced the greatest adverse impact.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.

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Theou O, Blodgett JM, Godin J, Rockwood K. Association between sedentary time and mortality across levels of frailty. CMAJ. 2017;189(33):E1056-E1064.