Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic Exacerbation of Depressive Symptoms for Social Frailty from the ORANGE Registry
Background: Recent longitudinal studies have reported proportion of frailty transition in older individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study aimed at clarifying the impact of social frailty in community-dwelling older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and at identifying factors that can predict transition to social frailty. Methods: We performed this study from 2019 (before declaration of the state of emergency over the rising number of COVID-19 cases) to 2020 (after declaration of the emergency). We applied Makizako’s social frail index to our study subjects at the baseline and classified into robust, social prefrailty, and social frailty groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed using robust, social prefrailty, or social frailty status as dependent variable. Results: Analysis by the Kruskal–Wallis test revealed significant differences in the score on the GDS-15 among the robust, social prefrailty, and social frailty groups (p < 0.05). Furthermore, multiple regression analysis identified a significant association between the social frailty status and the score on GDS-15 (odds ratio, 1.57; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.15–2.13; p = 0.001). Conclusion: The increase in the rate of transition of elderly individuals to the social frailty group could have been related to the implementation of the stay-at-home order as part of the countermeasures for COVID-19. Furthermore, the increased prevalence of depressive symptoms associated with the stay-at-home order could also have influenced the increase in the prevalence of social frailty during the COVID-19 pandemic.