Dietary Patterns and 12-Year Risk of Frailty: Results From the Three-City Bordeaux Study

Sophie Pilleron*, Soufiane Ajana, Marthe Aline Jutand, Catherine Helmer, Jean François Dartigues, Cécilia Samieri, Catherine Féart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To analyze the association between dietary patterns and the 12-year risk of frailty and its components in community-dwelling elderly French adults. Design A prospective cohort study. Setting The Bordeaux sample of the Three-City Study. Participants A total of 972 initially nonfrail nondemented participants (336 men and 636 women) aged 73 years on average, re-examined at least once over 12 years. Measurements Five sex-specific dietary clusters were previously derived at baseline. Frailty incident to the baseline visit was defined as having at least three out of the following 5 criteria: unintentional weight loss, exhaustion, low energy expenditure, slowness, and muscle weakness. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess the association between dietary clusters and the risk of frailty and its components. Results In total, 78 men for 3719 person-years and 221 women for 7027 person-years became frail over the follow-up. In multivariate analyses, men in the “pasta” pattern and women in the “biscuits and snacking” pattern had a significantly higher risk of frailty compared with those in the “healthy” pattern [hazard ratio (HR) 2.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–4.4 and HR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2–2.8, respectively; P = .09 and P = .13 for the global test of significance of risk difference across clusters, respectively]. In men, “biscuits and snacking” and “pasta” patterns were significantly associated with higher risk for muscle weakness (HR 3.3; 95% CI 1.6–7.0 and HR 2.1; 95% CI 1.2–3.7, respectively; P = .003 for global test). Conclusions This 12-year prospective population-based study suggests that some particular unhealthy dietary patterns may increase the risk of frailty in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Frailty
  • dietary cluster
  • older adult
  • prospective study


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