Scientists have stressed frailty should be considered as big a risk factor for dying with the coronavirus as old age or having an underlying health condition.
Being frail is generally defined as reduced strength, endurance or ability to function, leaving an individual dependent on others for care.
After looking at more than 1,500 coronavirus patients across 11 hospitals, scientists from Cardiff University found those who were considered the most frail were 2.4 times more likely to die with the infection than the fittest individuals.
Although often associated with being elderly, the team stressed anyone can be frail, regardless of their age or underlying health.
The scientists are therefore calling on patients who are admitted to hospital with the coronavirus to be assessed for frailty.
Under existing guidance, the NHS does not list frail people as being “clinically vulnerable” to the infection’s complications.