They are more likely to suffer from numerous health concerns, including falls, fractures, hospitalisation, nursing home placement, disability, dementia, and premature death.
As the population ages, we can expect numbers of people with frailty to increase. According to a latest study, the diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts may reduce the risk of frailty in older individuals, For the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta- analysis of four published studies.
Frailty is described as a "state of increased vulnerability, resulting from aging-associated decline" that lessens a person's ability to cope with everyday challenges and situations of acute stress.
Since nutrition is thought to play a crucial role in becoming frail, researchers at the U.K.'s University College London checked to see if a healthy diet might decrease the risk. The study included analysis of 5,789 people over 60 living in France, Spain, Italy, and China.
Not only is the Mediterranean diet heart healthy, an Italian study found that it also prolongs the lives of those who have already had heart attacks. And the study did not prove that a Mediterranean diet actually caused frailty risk to drop, just that there was an association.
"People who followed a Mediterranean diet the most", explains Dr. Walters, "were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a almost 4-year period compared with those who followed it the least".
All four studies had categorized adherence to Mediterranean diet in the same way: they had put their participants into three groups, depending on how closely they followed the diet. Frail older adults may often have low energy, weight loss, and weak muscle strength.
However, it's unclear whether people who followed a Mediterranean diet had other factors that may have helped prevent frailty.
Dr. Walters says that these factors might include, "for example, their age, gender, social class, smoking, alcohol, how much they exercised, and how many health conditions they had". Researchers studied the eating habits of healthy seniors around age 70 who were given MRIs to measure brain volume at age 73, and again at age 76.