Longitudinal study of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Frailty

01 January 2018 → 31 December 2021
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
Project description

The demographic change is a great challenge for social welfare systems. Healthy aging is threatened

by prevalent syndromes in the elderly including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and

frailty. Both are associated with substantial morbidity, disability and mortality, though their

interrelationship is insufficiently investigated. COPD is characterized by persistent airflow limitation

and chronic inflammation of the airways and lungs. Frailty is the inability to compensate function


In this interuniversity and multidisciplinary project, we will elucidate the incidence of frailty in the

Rotterdam Study, a large prospective population-based cohort study of 15.000 participants with

more than 25 years follow-up, including 2.000 subjects with COPD. Secondly, we will unravel the

underlying pathophysiology of the onset of frailty, including the role of exacerbations, inflammation,

and sarcopenia. Thanks to a better understanding of incident frailty in subjects with and without

COPD, we will be able to identify new targets to prevent and treat two devastating syndromes in the


Finally, we will develop a prognostic index for vulnerable elderly in the community and validate it

within the BELFRAIL elderly cohort. By providing more objectively estimated probabilities,

individuals are better informed regarding their prognosis and health care professionals are aided in

their reasoning and decision making regarding further management including withholding