Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weight Loss, Not Weight Gain, A Health Risk For Older Adults

Date:
April 10, 1998
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
Being overweight later in life does not pose a significant risk to your health, according to findings of a comprehensive study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health. On the contrary, it appears that weight loss is far more unhealthy in those 65 and older.

Being overweight later in life does not pose a significant risk to your health, according to findings of a comprehensive study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health. On the contrary, it appears that weight loss is far more unhealthy in those 65 and older.

Related Articles


A team of researchers led by Dr. Paula Diehr, professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, studied a group of 4,317 nonsmoking men and women aged 65 to 100 to examine the relationship between body mass index and mortality rates in seniors. All participants were involved in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a population-based, longitudinal study of older adults designed to identify risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Persons who were wheelchair-bound or receiving hospice treatment, radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer were excluded from the study.

"We found no correlation between increased body mass index and mortality among study participants," said Diehr. "Instead, it appears that significant, unintended weight loss should be of primary concern for seniors."

Information on study participants was gathered over a five-year period during home interviews, clinical evaluations and other resources. After controlling for a number of clinical variables including hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, researchers found that women with a body mass index of 20 or lower had a higher mortality rate than others. (Body mass index is defined by weight in pounds divided by squared height in inches multiplied by 704.5. A BMI of 20 or lower is equivalent to a 5-foot-5 inch woman weighing 120 pounds or less.) Long-term weight change among study participants showed that subjects who lost 10 percent or more of their weight since age 50 had a relatively high death rate -- 15.9 percent for women and 30.3 percent for men over the five-year period studied. Among this group, weight loss averaged 26 pounds for women and 29 pounds for men.

"While research has found a link between high body weight and increased mortality for middle-aged people, this finding doesn't appear to hold true for seniors, " Diehr said. "However, there is a need for more studies that follow older adults for longer than five years, and that examine the effect of weight on people's overall health, as well as on longevity."

Additional investigators include Dr. David Siscovick, University of Washington; Dr. Diane Bild, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; Dr. Tamara Harris, National Institute on Aging; Dr. Andrew Duxbury, University of California at Davis School of Medicine; and Dr. Michelle Rossi, University of Pittsburgh.

The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "Weight Loss, Not Weight Gain, A Health Risk For Older Adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980410101923.htm>.
University Of Washington. (1998, April 10). Weight Loss, Not Weight Gain, A Health Risk For Older Adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980410101923.htm
University Of Washington. "Weight Loss, Not Weight Gain, A Health Risk For Older Adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980410101923.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins