Frailty Phenotype

  • Administration time: 5 minutes
  • Requires physical performance test
  • Measures physical frailty

1. Sex

2. Body mass index

3. Weight loss

Has the person had unintentional weight loss ≥10 pounds or >5% body weight or BMI < 18.5 kg/m2 in last year?

4. Exhaustion

  • “Did you feel that everything you did was an effort in the last week?”

  • “Did you feel that you could not get going in the last week?”

5. Low physical activity

“Did you engage in any of the following physical activities in the past 2 weeks? If so, report frequency and duration in the table below.”

Click here if none of the activities occurred in the past 2 weeks

Activity (MET score) Sessions per week Minutes per session
Walking (3.5)
Strenuous household chores (4.5)
Strenuous outdoor chores (4.5)
Dancing (5.5)
Bowling (3.0)
Exercise (4.5)

6. Slowness

Measure time (seconds) to complete 4-meter (or 5-meter) walk in usual pace. Two trials are recommended (enter at least one trial).

7. Weakness

Measure grip strength (kg) using a hand dynamometer in the dominant hand. Three trials are recommended (enter at least one trial).

Key references

  • Fried LP, Tangen CM, Walston J, Newman AB, Hirsch C, Gottdiener J, Seeman T, Tracy R, Kop WJ, Burke G, McBurnie MA; Cardiovascular Health Study Collaborative Research Group. Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Mar;56(3):M146-56. doi: 10.1093/gerona/56.3.m146. PMID: 11253156.
  • Bandeen-Roche K, Xue QL, Ferrucci L, Walston J, Guralnik JM, Chaves P, Zeger SL, Fried LP. Phenotype of frailty: characterization in the women's health and aging studies. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006 Mar;61(3):262-6. doi: 10.1093/gerona/61.3.262. PMID: 16567375.
  • Johns Hopkins University. Frailty Assessment Calculator. Available at:

Alternative tools to Frailty Phenotype

Groningen Frailty Indicator

Tilburg Frailty Indicator

Edmonton Frail Scale