Department of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, National Clinical Research Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Big Data-Based Precision Medicine for Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing, China
Both the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) and frailty are increasing with age, and they often occur simultaneously, leading them to become the central concerns in this aging society. The incidence of frailty in patients with AF is highly variable, ranging from 4.4% to 75.4%, depending on different evaluating instruments used. Moreover, the incidence of frailty among patients with AF is on the rise, which indicated that patients with AF are more prone to frailty compared to patients without AF. The relationship between AF and frailty is complicated. Frailty elevates the risk of stroke and mortality in AF patients and is also associated with longer hospitalizations. On the other hand, it may reduce the appropriate anticoagulation in AF patients. However, the evidence of the effects of frailty on anti-arrhythmic and interventional therapy in patients with AF is scarce. Frailty affects both the management and the prognosis of AF in the geriatric population. Vice versa, AF could worsen the frail state and may represent a marker of frailty. However, there are still questions need to be resolved, for example, the impact of frailty on the interventional therapy of patients with AF. Therefore, the geriatric assessment of frailty should be considered when planning individualized management of AF in older patients.