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Type: Journal article
Title: A frailty index based on deficit accumulation quantifies mortality risk in humans and in mice
Author: Rockwood, K.
Blodgett, J.
Theou, O.
Sun, M.
Feridooni, H.
Mitnitski, A.
Rose, R.
Godin, J.
Gregson, E.
Howlett, S.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2017; 7(1):43068-1-43068-10
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
K. Rockwood, J. M. Blodgett, O. Theou, M. H. Sun, H. A. Feridooni, A. Mitnitski, R. A. Rose, J. Godin, E. Gregson and S. E. Howlett
Abstract: Although many common diseases occur mostly in old age, the impact of ageing itself on disease risk and expression often goes unevaluated. To consider the impact of ageing requires some useful means of measuring variability in health in animals of the same age. In humans, this variability has been quantified by counting age-related health deficits in a frailty index. Here we show the results of extending that approach to mice. Across the life course, many important features of deficit accumulation are present in both species. These include gradual rates of deficit accumulation (slope = 0.029 in humans; 0.036 in mice), a submaximal limit (0.54 in humans; 0.44 in mice), and a strong relationship to mortality (1.05 [1.04-1.05] in humans; 1.15 [1.12-1.18] in mice). Quantifying deficit accumulation in individual mice provides a powerful new tool that can facilitate translation of research on ageing, including in relation to disease.
Keywords: Animals
Age Factors
Middle Aged
Young Adult
Rights: © The Author(s) 2017. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/srep43068
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