European Geriatric Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 301–310 | Cite as

History of induced abortions and frailty in older Greek women: results from the HELIAD study

  • N. Mourtzi
  • M. Yannakoulia
  • E. Ntanasi
  • M. H. Kosmidis
  • C. A. Anastasiou
  • E. Dardiotis
  • G. Hadjigeorgiou
  • M. Megalou
  • P. Sakka
  • N. Scarmeas
Research Paper



Women are almost twice as likely as men to develop frailty and early-traumatic experiences related to reproduction may have a role to play. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between a history of induced abortions and risk of frailty.


1062 women aged ≥ 65 years from the HELIAD study were included in the present cross-sectional study. Frailty was assessed by frailty index and Fried definitions. The history of abortion and of other reproductive experiences (age onset of menstruation, age of menopause, number of offspring, and number of miscarriages) was obtained by all participants. Logistic and linear regression analyses were performed to examine whether the number of abortions was related to frailty.


When frailty was defined with frailty index, women with 1 or 2 abortions had 1.7 higher risk of frailty compared to women with no history of abortions, while those with more than 3 abortions had more than a twofold higher risk of frailty. Two supplementary analyses excluding women with surgical operations’ history and women with dementia revealed similar results. When frailty was defined with Fried definition, the analysis was marginally significant when abortion was inserted as a categorical variable. Women with more than 3 abortions showed 2.4 higher risk of frailty compared to women with no history of abortion.


The number of induced abortions was associated with moderate higher odds of frailty, when frailty was defined according to frailty index. A similar trend was revealed in the model with Fried definition after trichotomization of abortions.


Frailty Abortions Women Greece 



This study was supported by the Grants: IIRG-09-133014 from the Alzheimer’s Association, 189 10276/8/9/2011 from the ESPA-EU program Excellence Grant (ARISTEIA) and the ΔΥ2β/οικ0.51657/14.4.2009 of the Ministry for Health and Social Solidarity (Greece).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was approved by the University of Thessaly and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Ethics Committees.

Informed consent

All participants gave their informed consent prior to study participation.

Supplementary material

41999_2018_47_MOESM1_ESM.docx (97 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 97 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Mourtzi
    • 1
  • M. Yannakoulia
    • 2
  • E. Ntanasi
    • 2
    • 6
  • M. H. Kosmidis
    • 3
  • C. A. Anastasiou
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Dardiotis
    • 4
  • G. Hadjigeorgiou
    • 4
  • M. Megalou
    • 5
  • P. Sakka
    • 6
  • N. Scarmeas
    • 1
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Social Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology, 1st Neurology Clinic, Aeginition HospitalNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and DieteticsHarokopio UniversityAthensGreece
  3. 3.Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience, School of PsychologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.School of MedicineUniversity of ThessalyLarissaGreece
  5. 5.Biomedicine Diagnostic LaboratoryAthensGreece
  6. 6.Athens Association of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related DisordersMarousiGreece
  7. 7.Department of Neurology, The Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, Taub Institute for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging BrainColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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