Leisure Activities, Genetic Risk, and Frailty: Evidence from the Chinese Adults Aged 80 Years or Older

Jinhui Zhou, Xinwei Li, Xiang Gao, Yuan Wei, Lihong Ye, Sixin Liu, Jiaming Ye, Yidan Qiu, Xulin Zheng, Chen Chen, Jun Wang, Virginia Byers Kraus, Yuebin Lv, Chen Mao, Xiaoming Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: About half of adults aged ≥80 years suffer from frailty. Exercise is considered effective in preventing frailty but may be inapplicable to adults aged ≥80 years due to physical limitations. As an alternative, we aimed to explore the association of leisure activities with frailty and identify potential interaction with established polygenic risk score (PRS) among adults aged ≥80 years. Methods: Analyses were performed in a prospective cohort study of 7,471 community-living older adults aged ≥80 years who were recruited between 2002 and 2014 from 23 provinces in China. Leisure activity was assessed using a seven-question leisure activity index and frailty was defined as a frailty index ≥0.25 using a validated 39-item health-related scale. The PRS was constructed using 59 single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with frailty in a subsample of 2,541 older adults. Cox proportional hazards models were used to explore the associations of leisure activities, PRS with frailty. Results: The mean age of participants was 89.4 ± 6.6 years (range: 80-116). In total, 2,930 cases of frailty were identified during 42,216 person-years of follow-up. Each 1 unit increase in the leisure activity index was associated with 12% lower risk of frailty (hazard ratio: 0.88 [95% confidence interval, 0.85-0.91]). Participants with high genetic risk (PRS >2.47 × 10-4) suffered from 26% higher risk of frailty. Interaction between leisure activity and genetic risk was not observed. Conclusion: Evidence is presented for the independent association of leisure activities and genetic risk with frailty. Engagement in leisure activities is suggested to be associated with lower risk of frailty across all levels of genetic risk among adults aged ≥80 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-971
Number of pages11
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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