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Stolz, E; Mayerl, H; Rásky, É; Freidl, W.
Does Sample Attrition Affect the Assessment of Frailty Trajectories Among Older Adults? A Joint Model Approach.
Gerontology. 2018; 64(5):430-439
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Autor/innen der Med Uni Graz:
Freidl Wolfgang
Mayerl Hannes
Rásky Éva
Stolz Erwin

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Frailty constitutes an important risk factor for adverse outcomes among older adults. In longitudinal studies on frailty, selective sample attrition may threaten the validity of results. To assess the impact of sample attrition on frailty index trajectories and gaps related to socio-economic status (education) therein among older adults in Europe. A total of 64,143 observations from 21,044 respondents (50+) from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe across 12 years of follow-up (2004-2015) and subject to substantial sample attrition (59%) were analysed. We compared results of a standard linear mixed model assuming missing at random (MAR) sample attrition with a joint model assuming missing not at random sample attrition. Estimated frailty trajectories of both the mixed and joint models were identical up to an age of 80 years, above which modest underestimation occurred when a standard linear mixed model was used rather than a joint model. The latter effect was larger for men than women. Substantial education-based inequality in frailty continued throughout old age in both the mixed and joint models. Linear mixed models assuming MAR sample attrition provided good estimates of frailty trajectories up until high age. Thus, the validity of existing studies estimating frailty trajectories based on standard linear mixed models seems not threatened by substantial sample attrition. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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