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Approved Research

Socioeconomic, lifestyle, and multilevel biomarkers influencing musculoskeletal status, and potential causal relationships to frailty and key outcomes in old age: a longitudinal analysis of UK biobank

Principal Investigator: Professor Liang Sun
Approved Research ID: 95373
Approval date: December 22nd 2022

Lay summary

Frailty is a complex age-related clinical condition characterised by a decline in physiological capacity across several organ systems. With the prolongation of lifespan, the prevalence of frailty is also increasing, which brings a huge burden to society, economy, and medical care. Frailty increases the risk of adverse outcomes such as disability, dependence, and death in older adults. However, the causes and main influencing factors of the debilitating factors also need to be supported by data clues from real-world sources, and the interactions between different dimensional factors also need to be dissected in detail.


  1. To study the multi-dimensional influencing factors (biological factors and social factors, etc.) that affect the musculoskeletal state of the elderly population through cohort populations at multiple time points.
  2. Further explore the key factors and their combination patterns that affect frailty and key outcomes (death, falls) in old age, and identify key intervenable factors.
  3. Finely analyze the interaction and internal relationship between different dimensional factors (socioeconomic conditions, lifestyle factors such as exercise, genetic factors, physiological factors, and metabolic factors) and provide data clues from real world sources for the future prevention and treatment of key diseases of the elderly such as frailty and osteosarcopenia.

Scientific rationale

The causes and main influencing factors of frailty still need to be supported by data clues from real world sources and detailed analysis of the interaction between factors of different dimensions. In theory, social and economic conditions, lifestyle, exercise habits, genetic factors, physiological and metabolic status are closely related to the occurrence of common diseases (osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and frailty) in the elderly. Regulation of key factors can reduce the incidence of osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and frailty, and further reduce the risk of adverse outcome events such as death and falls.

Project Duration

The project is expected to last 36 months.

Public Health Impact

To explore strategies to prevent and control frailty, identify key interventionable factors, provide real-world and big data support for future interventions on frailty, and provide key strategies for preventing frailty and related adverse outcomes in the elderly and realizing the global strategy of healthy aging.